The presidents of Albania and Macedonia Ilir Meta and Stevo Pendarovski dismissed the possibility of accepting alternatives that would fall short of full EU membership, even as France vetoed to possibility and outspoken supporters of the current regimes in both countries are floating the idea of a “Norway in the Balkans”.

Pendarovski is visiting Tirana and said that this is an extraordinary meeting held to declare that anything short of full membership is unacceptable for both countries. Meta and Pendarovski are calling for a summit of all Balkan countries that would reject such proposals. As it became apparent that Macedonia is being tied in with Albania, and that it is dragging Macedonia down, Pendarovski called for decoupling. But he was quickly reminded by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama “who elected him”, a reference to the Albanian votes which provided his winning margin, and quickly reiterated.