Albania and North Macedonia, already in candidate status, have moved on to the next stage of the EU accession process. According to von der Leyen, both countries “showed an unwavering commitment to the values” of the EU
The European Union has begun negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia on the entry of these countries into the union, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter.
“Albania and North Macedonia are starting EU accession talks today, and I'm very happy to be here with you,” she said at a press conference attended by the prime ministers of North Macedonia, Albania and the Czech Republic.
According to the head of the European Commission, this is a “historic moment” that was the result of the hard work of Albania, North Macedonia and their citizens. “You have shown an unwavering commitment to our values,” — said von der Leyen.
The European Commission and negotiating teams from the two countries will now begin the first phase of the process, which involves Albania and North Macedonia “familiarizing themselves with the rights and obligations of EU members,” she said.
The procedure for countries to join the European Union consists of several main stages. First, they submit an application, then they receive the status of a candidate, after which the parties proceed to negotiations. Ratification and integration follow.
North Macedonia and Albania already have country status— candidate for EU membership. The first received it in 2005, and Albania— in 2014.
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In June of this year, the EU granted candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova. Georgia also submitted an application, but the European Commission postponed consideration of the status of a candidate for this country until the necessary reforms were carried out.