EU ministers agree to maintain prospects of western Balkan countries

EU ministers agree to maintain prospects of western Balkan countries

European Union foreign ministers underlined the need to maintain the European prospects of North Macedonia and Albania during a working lunch hosted by Greece's Nikos Dendias in Brussels where the European Union's Foreign Affairs Council was convening. 

The lunch was attended by Dendia's peers from North Macedonia and Albania, Nikola Dimitrov and Gent Cakaj respectively, and included the ministers from several EU countries including France, Germany and the Netherlands. 

The aim of Greece's initiative is to exchange ideas on the enlargement the EU to include countries from the western Balkans in the wake of France's veto in October of Albania and North Macedonia's accession bids and its proposals for stricter criteria for the launch of negotiations with aspiring members from the Balkan region. 

Dendias described Monday's meeting as "a useful first opportunity, after the European Council in October, to exchange views on how we can move forward over the coming period." 

He added that the initiative had yielded a proposal for an improvement of the "methodology" of the bloc's enlargement and a need for the European prospects of both North Macedonia and Albania to be kept alive. 

As the "oldest EU country in the region," Greece is a pillar of stability and will continue to promote initiatives in this direction, he added. 

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