Next week, the member states of the European Union (EU) will face a strategic choice regarding the start of the accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania. Ahead of these crucial decisions, the President of the European People’s Party (EPP), Joseph Daul, expressed support for the opening of EU accession talks for North Macedonia and Albania:

“EU Enlargement Policy has been one of the most successful tools to bring stability and peace to our continent. The decisions to be taken next by the member states will not only influence the stability, security and prosperity of the Western Balkans but also of our continent as a whole. It is time to send a strong signal and stay true to our commitments to the region.

North Macedonia and Albania have made progress in line with the requirements to open this process. While a lot remains to be done, opening the accession talks is the natural next step. The citizens, and especially the youth, of North Macedonia and Albania deserve a European perspective as it remains a source of motivation and determination for those countries and the wider region to continue with the necessary reforms to further implement the rule of law, strengthen the judiciary, fight against corruption, improve neighbourly relations and guarantee the independence of the media.

Next week’s decision is historic and decisive for our continent’s future. The path to membership for North Macedonia and Albania will be long but it is a path we need to build together, and we must not lose momentum. The countries of the Western Balkans are our closest partners; historically, geographically and economically. The EU will not be complete until the region is part of our union.”