North Macedonia on track for EU accession talks but not Albania, diplomats say
North Macedonia is likely to win European Union support to start membership talks later this year, diplomats say, but its Balkan neighbour Albania faces opposition in France, Germany and the Netherlands.
Despite EU rhetoric that the bloc needs to accept new members from the Western Balkans to cement their European path and offset Chinese and Russian influence, anti-immigration sentiment has raised doubts in some northern EU states.
Backed by a number of EU governments and the European Commission, Albania and North Macedonia had hoped that the bloc's Europe ministers would give the go-ahead to membership talks at a meeting next Tuesday in Luxembourg.
That would have cleared the way for approval by EU leaders at a summit in Brussels on June 20-21.
But neither country will be given the green light then, diplomats and EU officials told Reuters, even though 13 EU...