North Macedonia

EU fails to launch membership talks with Balkans hopefuls

European Union leaders failed Friday to agree on launching membership negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia in an embarrassing climb-down that could risk inflaming the volatile Balkans region.

The two countries had expected to receive a green light to begin negotiations on joining the European club, a process which could take several years.

France Sinks EU Hopes of North Macedonia, Albania

EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Friday failed to persuade France to allow a hoped-for start to accession talks for North Macedonia and Albania - and also failed to agree on a written conclusion, which, in the absence of a date for EU talks, would have sent a positive message to Skopje and Tirana about their further engagement in the process.

EU leaders to discuss North Macedonia, Albania accession after reaching deadlock

Talks in Brussels continued on Friday on the European Union accession prospects of North Macedonia and Albania after tense talks ended in a deadlock the previous night on objections from France, The Netherlands and Denmark, who strenuously oppos the position of the other 25 member-states to commence negotiations with the two Balkan nations.

EU Leaders Approve Brexit Deal

EU leaders have failed to agree to launch accession talks with northern Macedonia and Albania. A major opponent of this idea is French President President Emmanuel Macron. He urges the Community to reform its membership rules before the accession of new Member States.

European Council Fails to Reward North Macedonia, Albania

In a major blow to the hopes of the two Balkan countries, the European Council - preoccupied with Brexit -  on Thursday failed to give Albania and North Macedonia a date to start EU membership talks.

In a last-ditch effort to reach an agreement on the matter, amid fading hope, the Council moved the issue of enlargement to Friday's last session of the council.

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