The decision was not reached despite all night long dramatic discussion, and despite the warnings that turning Tirana and Skopje away would tarnish the EU's reputation and could risk inflaming the Western Balkans region.
Diplomatic sources say that EU leaders struggled past midnight in a tense debate to reach common conclusions in a bland statement offering encouragement to the candidate countries, and yet postponing a formal decision for accession talks.
Namely, according to the Pristina based Gazeta Blic daily, the European Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations believes that this would most affect the relations between Kosovo and Serbia.
EU Ministers for EU Affairs had to give green light today in Luxembourg to start the negotiation process with the two Balkan countries. However, Paris was strongly opposed.
Other countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark have demanded the separation of the two countries and the opening of negotiations with northern Macedonia only.