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Albania and North Macedonia 'ready for EU enlargement talks'

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By Alastair Jamieson
North Macedonia is ready to begin EU accession talks, Brussels says
North Macedonia is ready to begin EU accession talks, Brussels says   -   Copyright  AP

Albania and North Macedonia have delivered “tangible” changes that pave the way for accession talks to join the European Union, the commissioner for enlargement said in an official report.

It means French President Emmanuel Macron could lift his objections to the process after blocking the planned start of talks in October.

He insisted upon a change in methodology for the accession process.

"The Commission stands firmly by its recommendations to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia," Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi said in an updated report on Monday.

He said the Balkan countries had “stepped up their work and delivered further tangible and sustainable results in the key areas identified, adding: “I hope that the member states will take a positive decision in the coming weeks."

He said the two countries had reformed their economies and judicial systems to prepare for meeting EU standards.

Albania had made progress on justice reform and the fight against corruption and organised crime, while North Macedonia had taken “significant steps” to strengthen the independence of its judiciary, Várhelyi said.