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Šefčovič: All EU states backed new enlargement approach

All 27 EU member states agreed with the revised enlargement methodology, Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, told a press conference following Tuesday's General Affairs Council.

Brussels, 25 February 2020 (MIA) – All 27 EU member states agreed with the revised enlargement methodology, Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, told a press conference following Tuesday’s General Affairs Council.

“The new approach of the Commission was welcomed by all member states,” Šefčovič said.

“I heard big support for this approach from all member states who intervened and also big support for the three tracks for 2020 in this area, meaning revised enlargement methodology; opening of the negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania, and the proposals with a strong focus on economic development as well as the rule of law.”

“A firm, merit-based prospect of full EU membership of the Western Balkans,” according to Šefčovič, is in the best “political, geopolitical, security and economic interest of all of us,” which is why the Union will intensify its presence in the region “to close the economic development gap between us.”

Andrea Metelko Zgombić, Croatia’s State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs who chaired the General Affairs Council meeting, said it was important for the Croatian Presidency that the EU begin talks with North Macedonia and Albania at the same time.

“What’s important for Croatia,” MIA’s Brussels correspondent cited Metelko Zgombić as saying, “is that the two processes remain parallel and create conditions for […] opening negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania. We will be very active in this area.” mr/

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