ZAGREB, June 19, 2019 – Croatian Foreign Minister Marija Pejčinović Burić regretted on Tuesday that there was no agreement among EU member states about recognising the progress of North Macedonia and Albania and opening accession negotiations, with a decision postponed for October.
Member states’ foreign ministers made the postponement in Luxembourg without clearly indicating whether they will approve opening the negotiations in October.
“Croatia’s position hasn’t changed. We wanted it also a year ago at the General Affairs Council meeting, when the majority of the member states advocated giving a deadline of one year and beginning negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania this June, if they met the set demands,” Pejčinović Burić said.
“However, for certain reasons, there were member states that could not agree to such a text so we agreed to consider it again at this General Affairs Council meeting. Unfortunately, we didn’t get far. Now the number of states with certain reservations has even increased,” she added.
“We advocated opening those negotiations both with Albania and with North Macedonia because we think each has made such progress that it should be recognised in the right way,” the minister said.
Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Austria, Poland, Malta, Italy, Slovakia and Slovenia have forwarded a joint request for opening accession negotiations with the two countries.
France and the Netherlands are particularly against opening the negotiations.
Pejčinović Burić said she was the only one at today’s meeting to talk about the European perspective of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“We believe it’s very important to raise awareness in European institutions of BiH’s European perspective because we think it’s very important not to lose sight of that. There’s a lot of work ahead for BiH, but it’s important to repeat every time that it’s a country with a European perspective and that the European journey is the best option for the stabilisation and prosperity of BiH as well as the entire region,” she added.
More news about Croatia and the European Union can be found in the Politics section.