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Secretary of State Matei, EU counterparts discuss opening accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia

Secretary of State for European Affairs Iulia Matei participated on Tuesday in the informal meeting of ministers and secretaries of state for European Affairs from EU member states, which took place in a videoconference system, the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) informed in a release.

The meeting was devoted to discussing the enlargement policy and the decisions on opening the negotiations on Albania’s and the Republic of North Macedonia’s accession to the EU, following the updated progress reports presented by the European Commission for the two candidate states, on March 2, 2020, and the commitment of the member states, assumed under the Conclusions to the European Council meeting, to resume the topic before the Zagreb Summit of May 2020, the source shows.

In her intervention, the Romanian Secretary of State hailed the mobilisation of all member states, in the current difficult context, for generating some positive results for the two candidate states, based on the outstanding progress made in the interior reform processes. The Romanian official underscored that it is important that the EU prove the capacity to adopt strategic decisions and act in unity and solidarity, as a trustworthy partner for the candidates that fulfill their commitments.

The Romanian official saluted the consensus reached on the decision regarding the opening of the accession negotiations with Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia, a goal consistently pursued and promoted by Romania, both as a priority of its mandate as EU Council Presidency holder, in the first semester of 2019, and after concluding this mandate, as a member endorsing the enlargement process.

Opening the negotiation process is an important stage during the accession, which will require the continuation of the sustained efforts made by the candidates to advance in this process, with the final objective of joining the European Union. In line with Romania’s principle and consistent approach, in the context of the discussions on the revision of the accession process methodology, the Romanian official showed that Romania remains involved in making sure that the modifications brought come to the aid of making more efficient and speeding up the accession processes and will allow a real increase in pace when the candidates meet the set requirements and achieve sustainable reforms, MAE points out.

In this sense, the Romanian Secretary of State hailed the European Commission’s intention to immediately initiate the preparation of its proposals on the framework-documents of negotiation with Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia and pleaded for a further constructive approach from all member states, so that the first Intergovernmental Conferences with the two candidate states can be organised as soon as possible, before the end of this year.

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