European Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varheyi asked the EU member states to approve the opening of accession talks with Macedonia and Albania ahead of the Council in May. Speaking before the European Parliament, Varheyi said that the new enlargement methodology is proposed and there is no more reason to postpone the accession talks.

We collectively have to regain trust and credibility. We have to treat our Western Balkan partners more and more as future Member States, which is our commonly agreed destiny. With this, we will have a real opportunity to make progress for the benefit of all, Varheyi said.

He warned that postponing the accession talks again would endanger the stability of the Balkans and open the region up for other foreign powers. Most groups in the European Parliament supported the idea, with the opposition coming from the nationalist groups, who are especially opposed to Albania, but also some criticism from the liberal-democrats. It was their grouping that blocked the opening of accession talks in October as both countries that blocked the talks, France and the Netherlands, are led by liberal-democratic politicians.