German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to meet French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the upcoming European Council, in what may be the last chance to pressure Macron to relent on opening accession talks with Macedonia and Albania in October.

France has briefed the press that it remains opposed to opening the accession talks as the two countries are not prepared and the entire enlargement process needs to be re-imagined.

The union faces a lot of other crisis issues for the Council as well – it is the last meeting before the expected Brexit deadline, on top of the divisions in the European Commission and the Turkish incursion in Syria.

EPP party leader Joseph Daul, who is a French politician, came out in support of opening the accession talks. He called the decision a strategic one for the region and the EU and said that opening the accession talks is a natural next step.