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Merkel says first chapters of EU talks with Skopje and Tirana to be opened by year’s end

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday presented the priorities of the German EU Council Presidency in the coming six months at the European Parliament, mentioning only the accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albanian with respect to the enlargement issue, MIA reports from Brussels.

Brussels, 8 July 2020 (MIA) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday presented the priorities of the German EU Council Presidency in the coming six months at the European Parliament, mentioning only the accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albanian with respect to the enlargement issue, MIA reports from Brussels.

Western Balkans, Africa, the fight against disinformation, migration, Russia and China were presented as being the main priorities of Germany as regards foreign policy by the end of the year.

She told MEPs that accession conferences with North Macedonia and Albanian should take place this year before the first chapters were opened.

Merkel called the opening of EU talks with Skopje and Tirana an important signal as part of the bloc’s efforts to encourage the integration of Western Balkan countries.

If the two countries maintain their current dynamic of reform implementation, the first chapters as part of the negotiations could be opened in November or December.

The German Presidency plans on including this issue on the agenda of the Council of the EU in November. The European Commission is expected to release its progress reports for the countries in the region by then.

Last week, the European Commission submitted to the Council of the EU the draft negotiating frameworks for North Macedonia and Albania.

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