Skopje, 12 June 2020 (MIA) – The negotiating framework will be presented in the coming days. This is the next step in the process of negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania and afterwards we will start to work in the Council so that countries approve it and we continue with the accession process, said Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi on Friday.
Commissioner Varhelyi took part at panel “EU Accession of Western Balkans: Credibility, Predictability and Political Steer” within the Delphi Economic Forum video-conference in Athens.
SDSM leader Zoran Zaev, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic also took part in the panel, while Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic addressed the event through a video message.
“Compared to last October, now we have a new methodology for the enlargement process and we have managed to decide on the start of the negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania,” said Varhelyi and added that relations with Western Balkans is one of the highest priorities for the European Commission.
He said these efforts could not not materialize if North Macedonia and Albania did not deliver results.
“They delivered and that is why the Council decided to start the negotiations for both countries,” noted Varhelyi.
She expressed regret that the big economic-investment plan for the region has a slight delay due to the corona-crisis situation, hoping it could be unveiled at the start of the fall.
“Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis has interrupted our work but we have still managed to secure support through the financial assistance instrument in the amount of EUR 3,3 billion during the crisis, demonstrating our solidarity and importance to stay close to the Western Balkans,” said Varhelyi.
He noted that the recent Zagreb summit was an important sign of EU’s commitment to the Western Balkans’ integration in the Union.