The decision to open accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania is of particular importance given the fact that it continues the EU enlargement process, as well as the difficult circumstances in which it was made.
The Croatian presidency has shown with its actions that it remains operational and able to make important decisions despite the exceptional circumstances of the COVID 19 virus pandemic, which has in many ways changed the way it works and communicates within the Union.
"The Government of the Republic of Croatia is pleased that one of the priorities of the Croatian presidency has been fulfilled - the decision to open negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania. This decision is also the result of months-long intense political and diplomatic efforts by the Croatian Government, which has remained steadfast in order to achieve this objective, even after the expected decision of the European Council in October last year. Through preparations for the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Zagreb and active dialogue with our fellow leaders of the Member States and European institutions, we have succeeded in bringing the issue of enlargement back to the top of the EU agenda," said Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.
The decision to open negotiations also includes a decision to start negotiating frameworks for North Macedonia and Albania. It is important that the European Commission immediately begins to work on this important segment of the negotiation process. Once the negotiating frameworks have been adopted, the Intergovernmental Conferences, which will formally open negotiations with the two countries, will be convened as soon as possible. This decision is an impetus and encouragement to North Macedonia and Albania to continue implementing reforms.