EP President Sassoli critical of European Council’s failure to agree on EU enlargement talks

epa07927361 European Parliament President David Sassoli arrives at the EU headquarters for a Brexit summit in Brussels, Belgium, 17 October 2019. According to reports, the EU and the British government have reached a deal for Brexit. EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

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The European Parliament President David Sassoli, in a statement after Council Conclusions regarding enlargement, which would have seen the start of talks with Albania and North Macedonia, said “We are deeply disappointed to see that the Council failed to agree on the opening of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia.

In his comments he said that “Both countries and their citizens have made a huge effort in order to fulfil the requirements for the start of the negotiations. This is why I expressed my firm support for the immediate opening of accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania in a joint letter with Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen.”

He added “When we call on neighbouring countries to make an extra effort to change and they do so, it is our duty to stick to our word. It will be hard to explain to the people of those countries why we are delaying the next step despite the progress that has been made.”

“In a rapidly changing world, a further integration of interested and eligible candidates will help the EU to uphold its international role and protect its interests. We will continue striving for a future with Albania and North Macedonia within the European family.”

European Parliament

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