Mogherini: The EU recommends the opening of negotiations with Albania

Mogherini: The EU recommends the opening of negotiations with Albania

The European Commission (EC) is expected to recommend tomorrow the opening of accession negotiations with Albania.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that these two countries could be admitted to the EU by 2025.

Mogherini stressed that any prospective members must make sweeping reforms to secure their entry into the bloc, which now counts 28 countries as members, although the United Kingdom is set to leave next year.

The current government in FYROM's capital Skopje agreed with its southern neighbour Greece earlier this year to intensify negotiations to end a two-decade-old name dispute that has blocked FYROM's accession to the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

During a German election debate, last September, Mrs Merkel said she did not believe Turkey should become an European Union member and that she would take up with her European Union colleagues the issue of ending accession talks. The border rows will be a particular point of contention in a region still bedevilled by the aftermath of the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, whose country's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation membership bid has also been held up by the row, said his government wanted to resolve the dispute as soon as possible. When he took over at the European Commission four years ago, Juncker vowed that there would be no EU enlargement during his term.

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Macedonia was granted EU-candidate status in 2005.

"We are making efforts to finish this before the summit... but we would be even happier if it can happen earlier", Zaev told a press conference in Skopje.

Also speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Mr Macron set out his vision for the "future of Europe", which included a warning about creating new members. On the eve of the 17 April report on progress made by the six Western Balkan countries, Brussels announced that EU's support and focus on the enlargement process will not affect any form of assessment of the state of democracy, rule of law, human rights, economy, and compliance with European Union standards in each of the six partner countries in the region.

The head of European diplomacy Federica Mogherini said that the state has made significant progress in the reforms initiated by Brussels and could join neighboring Serbia and Montenegro, which are in the process of accession.

In 2008, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, which Belgrade still rejects.

"For my part I will only defend an enlargement once there has been a deepening and a reform of our Europe", he said.

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