Dutch PM: If North Macedonia does not accept the French Proposal, Albania is Moving Forward Alone
“If North Macedonia does not accept the French proposal, Albania will continue alone on the path to European integration. I think that is only right, but I hope that this will not be necessary”, said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte after his meeting with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama yesterday.
Rutte expressed optimism that North Macedonia will accept the proposal and there will be no need for the two countries to be separated on their way to the EU, Albanian media reported.
"During the EU-Western Balkans summit in Brussels, the European Union confirmed its commitment. As for Edi Rama's remark afterwards, I think he was right - the meeting was not a success. We need to do more. We know that the countries of the Western Balkans, including Albania, are working hard to join the EU and Albania has the full support of the Netherlands. Here, the problem is North Macedonia, and thanks to the efforts of France, there is a new moment in the accession process that also affects Albania, so the two countries, at least politically, are connected. We support the French proposal to remove the obstacles blocking North Macedonia and Albania in the accession process. The proposal provides a solution to all remaining concerns," Rutte emphasized.
He stressed that the EU supports North Macedonia in its next steps if it accepts the French proposal.
"North Macedonia has done a lot, changed its name. It is hoped that the country will accept the French compromise, and I urge it to do so, as it is an honest compromise. Everyone gets something, everyone loses something, but at least the outcome is fair. I hope Macedonia will agree and then we will all be able to walk hand in hand to the future", added Rutte.
According to him, the setting of a date for the first Intergovernmental meeting will be a reward for the Albanian government of Edi Rama and for the reforms carried out by him.
For his part, Edi Rama highly appreciated the commitment of the Netherlands and thanked Mark Rutte for promoting the EU accession process.
Both prime ministers supported the idea of creating a new political community, with Rutte even talking about an Albanian-Dutch initiative to lead the process.
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