EU member states agreed on Tuesday to open accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia, EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi said.
In a tweet, Varhelyi said, “Very pleased that EU member states today reached political agreement on opening of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia. I wholeheartedly congratulate both countries. This also sends a loud and clear message to Western Balkans: your future is in EU.”
The commissioner noted that the political agreement reached at the Foreign Ministers Council must be ratified by EU member state leaders at an EU summit, to be held by video conference on Thursday, and then be confirmed in writing.
Commenting on the agreement, Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said that it was a decisive step toward the European future of the two countries and congratulated the Croatian presidency for the result.
Congratulations were also sent by EU Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn, former commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations, who said he was “proud of having contributed to this crucial step towards the EU integration of both countries” and congratulated the countries’ leaders. The western Balkans “belong to Europe,” he said.