The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, continues to support accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia, but during a speech in the Bundestag on Thursday before leaving for Brussels, she expressed her pessimistic view regarding France changing its stance.
Merkel said that she will try to convince those at the summit who are not yet convinced about initiating the membership talks with the two countries.
“I have to tell you, however, that the chances of us reaching a consensus are not good.
“Germany feels particularly attached to the Balkan countries and will bring them closer to the European Union. We have offered bridges to partners who had doubts, but a unanimous vote is still not secure at the summit,” said Merkel.
In fact, Chancellor Merkel tried to persuade the French leader not to use his veto power and to support the Western Balkan countries, but given Macron's public stance, this was not achieved.
Analysts believe Macron's behavior is linked to the occupation of France within the bloc following Merkel's departure, and the fate of the negotiations may depend on the concessions Germany will make in this regard.
France's behavior against all other bloc countries to prevent the start of talks with Albania and North Macedonia was also the main topic of the European officials' dinner in Brussels the day before the leaders' summit.
In particular, the European Council President, Donald Tusk, has maintained close contact with the French president.
France wants EU reform, but so far has not put forward a concrete plan. A European official has clarified that the start of accession talks will not make any difference.
Asked if France has ever introduced a new methodology for enlargement, the official replied no.
The topic of the European Union enlargement has also been raised during the Belgrade Security Forum.
The director of the US State Department for Central and Southern Europe, David Kostelancik, called the decision disappointing for Albania and Northern Macedonia.
From the same forum, the French ambassador to Belgrade said that Albania is not ready yet and should work harder for a functioning parliament and judiciary.