Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (5 February) on the proposal published today by the European Commission on further developing the EU accession process:
The communication presented today by the European Commission on the accession process is a clear statement of commitment to the Western Balkans’ EU accession perspective.
The Commission has achieved a balancing act in its proposal on enhancing the accession process. The proposal takes into account important concerns of both the Member States and the candidate countries. It is now vital to finally reach agreement within the EU before the EU Western Balkans Summit in Zagreb on opening accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. Both countries have achieved a great deal on their path towards EU accession and must now be given the go-ahead. The two countries have worked hard for this. The discussion on enhancing the accession process must not be allowed to further delay the start of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.
Both countries are required to continue resolutely on their path to driving forward and completing their reform agenda on the rule of law, anti-corruption, regional reconciliation and minority protection.