The failure at the European Council was confirmed officially today, as Donald Tusk declared his regret that European leaders could not agree to allow the opening of accession talks with Macedonia and Albania. While the exact conclusions are not published yet, it was announced that the decision will be postponed at least until May 2020.

The adoption of the Prespa agreement was a truly extraordinary achievement. Both countires have the right to start EU negotiations as of today. They are ready. Unfortunately a few member states are not ready. This is why we didn’t manage to reach a positive decision. Personally I think it was a mistake but I will not comment on it further. Today I would like to send a message to our Macedonian and Albanian friends. Please do not give up, Tusk said.

France, and to a lesser extent the Netherlands and Denmark, pushed against the opening of accession talks with Macedonia and Albania, while Germany and Italy were among those opposed to decoupling the two countries – a move that could’ve allowed Macedonia to go forward alone.