Working group meets on EU Balkan accession ahead of EU summit

Working group meets on EU Balkan accession ahead of EU summit

European ministers are expected to meet today in Luxembourg to discuss final plans to allow Albania and Macedonia to join

eu balkan acession

Photo: Profimedia/AFP

European ministers are expected to meet today in Luxembourg to discuss final plans to allow Albania and Macedonia to join the EU.

However, despite years of negotiations, the EU still lacks unanimous support over accession. Major partners of the bloc like France, the Netherlands and Denmark continue to express concern that admitting Albania and Macedonia could further stoke anti-immigration sentiment. More specifically opponents have cited needed reforms in each country across three major areas: judiciaries, corruption and organised crime.

With an EU summit scheduled for this Thursday, today’s meeting will be a last-ditch attempt to save the accession talks. However, it is very unlikely that an agreement will be reached in time for the summit. Just last Thursday, the Dutch parliament blocked the opening of talks with Albania, and the parliament has yet to reverse its resolution opposing accession.

While joining will likely be unsuccessful this time around, this does not mean it will never happen. However, until opposition states receive the necessary go-ahead on the domestic level, any negotiations will remain stalled.

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