EU foreign affairs ministers will return Tuesday to the issue of enlargement to the Western Balkans and negotiations with Macedonia and Albania for the first time after the French blockade in October.
The General Affairs Council held today does not foresee any concrete conclusions, but merely an exchange of views between member states and an attempt to break the deadlock after Paris blocked negotiations with Macedonia on the pretext that reform of the negotiation process was previously needed.
The discussion will also include France’s latest (“non-paper”) proposals for a more political, more credible and gradual negotiation process. France wants the EU Council by January 2020 to formally ask the European Commission to start working on a “new methodology”. It is uncertain at this time whether this proposal is fully acceptable to the enlargement-backing countries, which are in the EU majority, as it will take a long time to develop a new methodology, diplomats from several EU member states say.