Further postponement of the EU accession negotiations of Albania and Macedonia would weaken stability in the Western Balkans and severely limit the EU’s influence in the region, the prime ministers of the Visegrad 4 countries have warned. V4 leaders have expressed their deep disappointment that some governments continue to block the launch of negotiations.

The premiers of the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia have sent a letter to their EU counterparts ahead of the EU summit starting on Thursday, where accession talks were expected to be on the agenda. The ministers of the European Union were unable to approve on Tuesday the opening of accession talks with Albania and Macedonia due to the resistance of the French government, despite European Commission assessments the two countries had implemented the required reforms, the V4 news agency reported.

V4 leaders expressed their disappointment that the EU has failed to live up to its previous commitments and “is still unable to guarantee these countries a clear European perspective”. They added that further delay in making the positive decision will have an irreversible effect on the EU’s “credibility in the region and, more importantly, serious and lasting consequences for our stability and security.”

We need to fulfill our commitments, it is time to make a geopolitical decision, the joint letter of the V4 leaders reads.

An anonymous high-level EU source involved in the preparations for the summit said on Thursday that European Council President Donald Tusk also thinks it would be a serious mistake if member states could not agree about opening the accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania.