From: Alice Taylor
Albanian President Welcomes Bulgaria’s Position on EU Accession

Albania’s President Ilir Meta has welcomed Bulgaria’s proposal that Albania and North Macedonia’s EU accession path be decoupled, allowing Albania to progress.

Albania’s EU path has been linked to that of North Macedonia. This meant that the veto by Bulgaria against the latter over culture, human rights, and language issues, meant Albania failed to progress to the first intergovernmental meeting, marking the formal start of negotiations, despite getting the ok from all 27 member states.

Last week, Bulgarian EU Ambassador Rumen Aleksandrov said that his country would not be lifting the veto on North Macedonia, but that Albania should be uncoupled and assessed independently.

Additionally, he said that Bulgaria had made several proposals on how North Macedonia could alleviate the situation, including implementing a friendship treaty signed between the two.

Meta reacted to Bulgaria’s proposal, stating, “I welcome the position of Bulgaria which proposes the start of Albania’s membership negotiations with the European Union as soon as possible.”

He added he is convinced that North Macedonia has made “tremendous progress in implementing reforms and reaching historic agreements like the one in Prespa.”

“I applaud the dignified attitude of the Macedonian authorities to continue unwavering in the pro-European course of reforms that serve the citizens and the aspiration for EU membership,” he concluded.