Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama confirmed that he will attend tomorrow’s EU Council Summit, after stating yesterday that he may boycott it given Bulgaria’s refusal to lift its veto on North Macedonia that is also blocking Tirana’s EU accession.
The veto over language, historical, and cultural disputes has resulted in the two countries being sat in the EU waiting room for several years, despite having fulfilled the conditions for accession to progress to the next stage.
Rama took to Twitter to confirm attendance, stating, “just heard right now that something is moving today in Bulgaria. Too early to be optimistic and too little to change the part of the tomorrow speech where Bulgaria is criticised as a country which has kidnapped two NATO countries while there is a hot war at the Europe’s borders.”
The movement mentioned by Rama refers to a call from the leader of the Bulgarian opposition party GERB, Boyko Borissov, who is partly responsible for initiating the veto, calling for it to be lifted.
The move was welcomed by EU enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi who extended his thanks and called it historic.
“We thank the leader of opposition Gerb Boyko Borissov for making a historical decision for Europe and for North Macedonia to accept negotiation based on France’s proposal allowing to proceed with opening accession negotiations”
He added, “we expect government making necessary proposals to Parliament today so Europe can move forward.”
The French proposal would see accession negotiations opened with the demands of Sofia included in the discussions. The Commission would act as a guarantor throughout the process.
Rama continued his tweet by confirming Albania’s attendance but adding, they hope to be heard on the idea of a New European Political Community which they support and was proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Additionally, Rama said the matter of Open Balkan will also be on their agenda, as it “takes forward the spirit of Europe and on our kidnapping from Bulgaria that destroys it.”
Meanwhile in Sofia it became clear that the opposition is determined to put down Petkov’s government later in the afternoon. A vote to elect a new speaker of the 240-seat Parliament couldn’t take place because of lack of quorum – all 125 opposition MPs didn’t show up, in a show of unity.