The Foreign Ministers of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia, Heiko Maas, Augusto Santos Silva and Ange Logar respectively, pledged to intensify efforts to quickly overcome the current blockade, after Macedonia and Albania did not get the green light to start EU negotiations at the June EU summit.

The foreign ministers of the three countries issued a joint statement, stressing the importance of continuing the enlargement process as a strategic goal of the bloc.

They say the current blockade undermines EU’s credibility and is contrary to the bloc’s strategic interest in the stability of the Western Balkans.

We are extremely concerned that we failed to start accession negotiations with Macedonia and Albania, despite the fact that the Council decided to do so in March 2020. The two countries have implemented a series of reforms, and Macedonia has invested major political capital in the enlargement and even changed its name. It is high time the EU kept its promises. The German and Portuguese presidencies have worked hard to find a compromise that will allow them to move forward, and the Slovenian presidency will continue these efforts and build on what has been achieved so far. We believe that bilateral issues should not be an obstacle to progress, which is so crucial for both the EU and the Western Balkans, Maas, Silva and Logar said in the joint statement.

The three foreign ministers added that the enlargement process and the prospect of EU membership offer the best possible framework for overcoming the different views that exist in all partners in the Western Balkans.