North Macedonia President Stevo Pendarovski has warned against delaying EU membership talks with Skopje, expressing fears that the political context in the Balkan region could change in the coming months and endanger the process.
On Wednesday, European Council President Donald Tusk said that not all member states wish to start negotiations with North Macedonia at the moment. “You have done everything that was expected of you… But I want to be honest with you: not all member states are prepared to make the decision on opening negotiations in the coming days,” Tusk said.
In an interview with news website Euractiv released Friday, Pendarovski called for a “decoupling” of the European integration process of North Macedonia and Albania in the EU Council, amid concerns that insufficient progress in Tirana is holding both Balkan candidates back.
On Thursday, the Dutch Parliament voted against the opening of accession negotiations between EU and Albania.
“Albania is now in disarray. The opposition has walked out of institutions and it’s getting tenser. So what can we say here? We have had positive recommendations from the Commission before, and we’ve been decoupled before,” Pendarovski, an ally of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, told Euractiv.
“We have done our homework, we have signed the agreement with Greece, which was a political miracle,” he said, referring to the so-called Prespes accord which was signed last summer opening the Balkan’s country’s path to EU and NATO membership.