(ANSA) - BRUSSELS, JUNE 19 - The beginning of negotiations for North Macedonia's and Albania's EU membership is at a standstill and the decision is postponed until October, said the EU ministers at the end of their meeting in Luxembourg, focusing on the EU enlargement issue. The "pressure of time" to make a "clear and substantial decision" and "the importance of the issue" led the ministers to postpone the decision. Even twelve months ago, the 28 member countries did not achieve an agreement to start the negotiations and, therefore, postponed the decision until June this year. Among those who opposed the decision are France, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany. "Unfortunately, a minority of countries did not support our recommendation" to open negotiations with Skopje and Tirana "as soon as possible", said EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn, underlining that Brussels "believes that we need to reward the countries that have achieved the required objectives", offering the Western Balkans a "credible European prospect". (ANSA).

regional cooperation for European Integration and sustainable development