Macedonia, with the new government led by Zoran Zaev, can again begin to focus on projects on foreign policy, such as the REU and NATO integration, said in an interview for the “European Western Balkans” the German MP from the ranks of the ruling Christian-Democratic Union (CDU) Stephan Albani who is presiding with the German-Southeastern European Parliamentary Group.
“Macedonia has been an EU accession candidate since 2005. Unfortunately, corruption, crime, and a weak judicial system are part of the everyday problems faced here, too. The ongoing dispute with Greece over the country’s name is a further major obstacle on the path towards the EU. We can only hope that the EU’s mediation will allow a reasonable compromise to be found on this issue. Macedonia intends to resolve the disputed issues with EU member-state Bulgaria on August 2nd, 2017, by signing a treaty on good neighborly relations. This is an encouraging step in the right direction”, said Albani.
When asked whether changes are possible in Germany’s policy towards the enlargement of the EU, after parliamentary elections in Germany, Albani said that the ruling coalition CDU/CSU will still support the perspective for the countries of the Western Balkans to join the EU. He stressed that the countries have to fulfill the conditions in order to become members.
“Nevertheless, joining the EU is only open to countries which meet the Copenhagen criteria. The most recent domestic and foreign-policy disputes represent a setback on this path, however – regardless of the results of the elections in Germany”, said Albani.