At the EU summit, accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia are on the agenda. A yes is considered safe.
BRUSSELS taz | In the middle of the corona crisis, the European Union wants to give the green light for accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia. This emerges from a draft for the “virtual” EU summit on Thursday, which is available to the taz. In addition, the 27 heads of state and government of the EU want to start preparing for the exit from the Corona emergency measures.
Albania and North Macedonia have been waiting for the starting signal for months. Negotiations for EU accession were originally supposed to start last year. But in autumn France and two other EU countries surprisingly put the brakes on. French President Emmanuel Macron called for a reform of the accession process that the EU Commission delivered in early 2020.
This reform is intended to make negotiations more political and flexible. Central issues such as the rule of law and democracy are now at the very beginning and end of the talks in order to avoid massive setbacks as in Turkey. Candidate countries can also be downgraded if they do not meet important EU requirements. So far this has not been possible.
Until the end, Albania in particular struggled with reservations. The country is considered a problem – and not just in France or the Netherlands. Even the German Bundestag had concerns and conditions.
Reform electoral law
Albania must complete its electoral reform process before the first accession conference. In addition, the government in Tirana should step up action against corruption and organized crime. At the EU summit, which will again be held as a video conference, there should be no more problems, said Wednesday in Brussels. The inclusion of the accession talks is a matter of form.
The fight against the corona virus and its consequences, on the other hand, is very important. However, the heads of state and government do not come up with much new information. They reaffirm the ban on entry into the EU and no longer question the controls at internal borders. However, “border management” should be improved to ensure the transport of goods.
The EU summit also wants to deal for the first time with a possible exit from the emergency measures. “This will require an exit strategy,” says the draft. The EU is also considering building a “true European crisis center”. There are already various crisis teams in Brussels. However, they have proven to be insufficient.