New EU Enlargement Methodology, ready on February 5

Ana Pisonero 
 Following the blockade by France, the Netherlands and Denmark last October of the opening of negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, the European Commission have begun work on preparing proposals on amending the enlargement methodology to satisfy some suspicious member states to give way to the continuation of the process with the two Balkan countries.

Ana Pisonero, the European Commission's spokeswoman, spoke from Brussels today saying that the Commission is finalizing the proposals, which are expected to be tabled in the coming weeks, to make the accession process more efficient, credible and more dynamic.

"Our goal is not to do a new expansion modeling, but to actually strengthen the process," said Ms. Pisonero.

For the European Commission, the changes to the negotiating framework with Albania and North Macedonia should come at a time when to member states are given the green light for the two countries waiting at the EU's doorstep.

"You know that it is very important for us that in parallel with the member states agreeing on the newly revised methodology, we stand by our recommendation that accession negotiations should be opened with both Albania and North Macedonia. We have made it very clear that these two countries have responded to their demands and it is time for the EU side to keep its promise,” the EC spokeswoman added.

The new proposals that Ursula von der Leyen's new cabinet is working on, and in particular the new Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi, were expected to be unveiled on January 29, but their publication has now been delayed for two weeks and according to sources by Euronews Albania is expected to be released on February 5.

In mid-February, the Commission will share with member states an assessment of the progress of reforms in Albania and North Macedonia over the past year, with a view to reaching a Council decision on the two countries during the March European summit in Brussels.
New EU Enlargement Methodology, ready on February 5 New EU Enlargement Methodology, ready on February 5 Thursday, January 23, 2020 Rating: 5
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