The development comes after North Macedonia resolved a long dispute with its EU neighbour Bulgaria.The European Union has agreed to open accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia after Skopje resolved a long dispute with its EU neighbour Bulgaria.
The 27 member states have “just agreed to open accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia”, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said on Twitter on Tuesday.
“We have taken another important step towards bringing the Western Balkans closer to the EU,” he said after the green light in a meeting of EU envoys in Brussels.
The @EUCouncil led by @EU2022_CZ has just agreed to open accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia!
We have taken another important step towards bringing the Western Balkans closer to the EU. It’s a great success of our Presidency.
— Petr Fiala (@P_Fiala) July 18, 2022
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and his North Macedonian counterpart Dimitar Kovacevski were expected in Brussels to formally start the accession talks.
Rama on Tuesday shared a tweet by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who had visited Bulgaria last month in an effort to overcome Sofia’s blockade before the summit in Brussels.
“I welcome the vote of the Macedonian parliament paving the way for the first accession conferences of the European Union with North Macedonia and Albania,” Scholz said. “We want you as members of the European Union and will be at your side all the way!”
The announcement comes after North Macedonia and Bulgaria on Sunday signed a French proposal that would make Macedonian an official language in the EU, as well as provide other guarantees.
Bulgaria had until recently blocked any progress for accessio …