Albanian EU negotiator aims for France’s membership – Exit

Albania’s chief negotiator with the European Union, Zef Mazi, said member states are not enthusiastic about European integration, hinting that France may be among them following comments by yesterday from the French Ambassador Tirana.

Yesterday Ambassador Elisabeth Barsaqc said that Albania and North Macedonia should not be decoupled in the accession process. She said: “we have to overcome the idea that these two nations can be separated … we have to do our best so that the two intergovernmental conferences can be held at the same time,” she told Euronews.

Mazi responded by saying: “I can say that the ambassadors act with instructions from their centers … But I do not understand on what legal, legislative, European directive or other basis, the position of division or non-division of countries like Albania and North Macedonia is based.

He continued: “It is clear that in the EU there are Member States that are not enthusiastic about integration, about the arrival of new members in the EU. Albania has fulfilled all the conditions and criteria to start technical negotiations with the First Intergovernmental Conference. On this point, Albania, to my knowledge, and I believe I am right, has the unanimity of the 27 Member States, including Bulgaria. There is no unanimity for North Macedonia among the 27 countries. It is a political problem.

He also mentioned that in France’s priorities for its biannual presidency of the Council of the EU, the subject of the integration of current candidates is not mentioned. Instead, he refers to a conference on regional cooperation in the Balkans.

“I am not in a position at the moment to understand what this means… it remains unclear,” said Mazi.

He concluded that “there doesn’t seem to be everyone’s appetite for enlargement. Some people don’t like the process and their reasons are different.

While Albania secured the agreement of the 27 member states, some in Brussels speculated that it was a diplomatic decision. They knew full well that membership would be blocked due to Bulgaria’s veto over North Macedonia.

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