No progress has been made in the EU member states’ positions on opening negotiations with Albania and Macedonia after Monday’s ambassadorial meeting in Luxembourg.
France’s position remains unchanged regarding the negotiations with Tirana and Skopje. Paris considers that more time is needed to reform the negotiating process for the candidate countries and further evidence of the fight against corruption and the independence of the judiciary in Albania and Macedonia. Resolving the status of the SPO and its cases, France is constantly bringing them back to the table in discussions with European partners, several diplomatic sources told MIA.
According to French diplomatic sources, Paris believes that while there has been progress in judicial reforms and the fight against corruption in Macedonia, “it is also important to see concrete judgments in a credible and objective way.”
Foreign ministers will try to reach a compromise tomorrow to avoid transferring the dossier to the level of prime ministers and presidents, as some fear that at a leadership level France could more easily influence other member states and persuade them to support the blockade.
France is the only country that is against the green light for either of the two countries, the majority of EU members want to open negotiations with Albania and Macedonia, and a small number of countries are in favor of opening negotiations only for Macedonia, including the Netherlands. However, according to diplomatic sources in Brussels, The Hague is ready to solidarize with France tomorrow, so that it will not be isolated if there is no separation from Albania.
Paris is officially opposed to separation, but there is hope in many member states that it would be easier to soften if the decision applies only to Macedonia. In turn, some member states would accept in the conclusions to mention the fight against corruption, and / or the SPO and the judiciary.