France holds firm against EU talks with Balkan hopefuls

France stuck to its hard line against European Union membership talks for North Macedonia and Albania on Tuesday, setting up a showdown between French President Emmanuel Macron and fellow EU leaders later this week in Brussels.
Europe ministers, making a third attempt since June 2018 to approve membership talks for the Balkan hopefuls, discussed in Luxembourg opening a path for Skopje and Tirana, with broad EU support and backing from the United States.
But just as those discussions were getting underway, a French presidency official in Paris said Macron's government would not agree to open talks now, even if Paris did support eventual membership for North Macedonia and Albania.
"These countries will be part of the European Union one day...but it is too early to open the legal process toward enlargement," the presidential official said, referring to the term for...

Continue reading on: