New Europe: EU Commission will recommend opening accession negotiations with Albania and FYROM17 April 2018 | 09:13 | FOCUS News Agency
Skopje and Athens agreed this year to intensify negotiations to end the dispute blocking FYROM’s accession to the European Union and NATO.
Greece, which has the right of veto on admission to both organizations, considers that the name Macedonia of the former Yugoslav state is a territorial claim for one of its northern regions, bearing the same name.
Skopje, hoping the issue will be resolved before the NATO summit in Brussels in July, suggested the use of a geographical qualification to differentiate the names of the two territories.
“Suggestions are the Republic of North Macedonia, the Republic of Upper Macedonia, the Republic of Macedonia-Vardar and the Republic of Macedonia (Skopje),” Prime Minister Zoran Zaev recently said after a Western Balkan summit in London.
Accession negotiations are currently undergoing for Serbia and Montenegro, and based on the progress reached so far, but the Commission wants to open them for Albania and Macedonia as well.
The Commissioner for Enlargement, Johannes Hahn, and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, will visit Tirana for handing over the progress report to the Albanian government and will then travel to Skopje.
The Commission wants the governments of these countries to leave no room of doubt for their strategic orientation and commitment, and to show determination and progress.
The Commission had mentioned 2025 as the date for the final accession of Balkan countries, but no date was specified this time.
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