In the midst of the debate on the Negotiating Council's decision for Albania and North Macedonia, European Commissioner Johannes Hahn, seems to have forgotten Albania whilst speaking with journalists before the start of the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council, as he only made reference to North Macedonia.
“I can just repeat that North Macedonia deserves a green light without delay, as they have done everything. It is an important signal also for the entire region, that a kind of investment in finding a political compromise is rewarded.
“It will serve as incentive also to solve the Serbia–Kosovo conflict,” added Hahn.
Hahn said that the country has invested heavily in the European perspective and that this should be rewarded.
“One country has tremendously invested into the European perspective. Their leadership has shown courage and real leadership and, if this is not rewarded, we lose not only our accountability, but also our credibility and finally our leverage.
“Everything we have invested in successfully in the last couple of years is at risk if we're not committed to our own promises,” explained Hahn.
Meanwhile, the High Representative of the European Union, Federica Mogherini praised the Prespa agreement, but did not forget about Albania:
“Today is exactly one year after the signing of the historic Prespa agreement between Greece and North Macedonia.
“We will need to remind ourselves the power of leadership and courage, as well as the important steps that have been taken in the Western Balkans.
“And I hope the Member States will remember this and acknowledge the steps forward, in particular in the coming days, with an important decision to be made for the opening of accession negotiations for both Albania and North Macedonia.
“I hope and I believe this will be done as soon as possible,” said Mogherini.
During the meeting, the Foreign Affairs Minister of the EU member states will specifically define the enlargement strategy, but media speculation suggests that the timeline for opening negotiations is more likely to be for September.
Whilst it certainly seems that North Macedonia is the front-runner for EU accession, it remains to be seen what position will be taken by the Ministers in regards to Albania.