France sent a so-called non-paper, an informal document to the European Union member states demanding a “renewed approach” in the enlargement process of the Western Balkans countries, Radio Free Europe (RFE) reported on Friday.
The leading French demand is to include the reversibility principle to secure credibility and incentive nature of the process.
Paris considers that principle needed in resolving the situations in which a candidate country partially or not at all fulfils some criteria or if it stops implementing the obligations.
According to the document, sent after Paris last month refused to give the green light to the EU to set a starting date for North Macedonia and Albania accession talks, the European Commission (EC) should publish a new methodology of the negotiations with the candidate countries by January 2020.
The non-paper which RFE had seen also said that “once the negotiations start, the process would not be based on the opening of new chapters, but on several successive phases which would form coherent blocs of policies and a scheme established by the EU, taking care of the specifics of each candidate.
”The document insists on the rule of law and fundamental rights as integral demands from the start of negotiations and as a part of all areas in the process.
It also says that “the final aim would be full accession,” and that the whole process should be “more gradual and more incentive.”
Paris also envisages additional financial aid in the pre-accession process of the Western Balkans countries. That means more pre-accession instruments, but also the access to structural funds now reserved for the member countries only.