EU: Unofficial discussions on enlargement new methodology, PR says no non-paper

NEWS 13.11.2019 18:15
Source: Printscreen

The European Union’s institutions unofficially discuss an eventual “new methodology” in accession negotiations on membership, but not upon demand from the European Commission (EC), Mina Andreeva, a Commission spokesperson says on Wednesday, the Beta news agency reports.

The officials from the EU Ministerial Council confirmed to the agency the statement by North Macedonia’s President Stevo Pendarovski that a non-paper, an unofficial document suggesting the changes in the accession procedure, was circulating among the Union’s member states.

However, Andreeva later said there was no such document and that the demand for an official debate on a new methodology had not reached the EC.

Pendarovski said the French President Emmanuel Macron prepared the report and measures for changes in the accession negotiations which the EU leaders should adopt next March.

That would lead to a date for opening the talks with Skopje and Tirana at the EU-Western Balkans’ Summit in Zagreb in May.

According to Pendarovski, Macron had no intention to suggest any exchange for the full membership of the Western Balkans.

The French sources said that it was not about Western Balkans’ “privileged link” with the EU instead of the membership, but about the acceleration of the negotiations.

They added that meant a chance for the candidate countries which successfully implemented reforms in some areas to immediately get aid from the EU funds which, according to the current rules, would be possible only after they joined the bloc.