It seems there is no breakthrough emerging from the last-ditch effort to reach a deal on EU enlargement at Friday’s session of the European Council, the last hope for North Macedonia to get a date to start EU membership talks.
Optimism faded on Friday that the EU will set a date for accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia though a slim chance remained that the European Council would take a positive decision eventually.
The EU leaders suspended discussions early this morning with no sign of breakthrough in trying to strike a deal to start negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, and with no signal indicating that French President Emmanuel Macron might soften hardline on accession talks.
Finland’s Prime Minister Antti Rinne, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, said no deal has been reached thus far.
The two Balkan hopefuls were expecting to get the go-ahead to start membership talks during the two-day EU summit.
According to news reports, EU leaders struggled past midnight in a tense debate over the two small Balkan nations, but ultimately were unable to reach agreement even on a bland statement offering encouragement and postponing a formal decision.
French President Emmanuel Macron had reportedly strongly opposed moving forward with accession talks and ultimately prevailed over other leaders, including European Council President Donald Tusk and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who were in favor.
Macron had reportedly refused to allow any country join the bloc until enlargement procedures improve, whilst Netherlands remained steadfastly opposed to Albania’s EU bid.
Arrest warrant issued for Spasov
Former special police officer Igor Spasov, who has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for murdering Martin Neskoski, is wanted on recall to prison after going missing.
Macedonian police issued an arrest warrant on Tuesday after he failed to show up to begin his sentence. The arrest warrant has been published on the web-site of the Ministry of Interior.
The former member of special police force vanished after ignoring summons to serve time after he was sentenced in prison on murder charges.
The man had probably fled justice to avoid serving a 14-year jail sentence for a murder conviction. He was to report to Idrizovo correctional facility on 18 October.
The murder took place during a late-night celebration of VMRO-DPMNE’s victory in 2011 parliamentary elections.
Matthew Palmer due in Skopje today
The US Secretary of State’s Special Representative for the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer, will visit North Macedonia on Tuesday.
Special Representative Palmer is scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.
The two are expected to discuss the bilateral relations between North Macedonia and the United States, including the US support for the country’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic community. They will exchange views on the situation in the country and the region.
In late August, the U.S. State Department appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary Palmer as special envoy for the Western Balkans with a mandate to help integrate the region into Western institutions.
US Secretary of State has appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary Matthew Palmer as his Special Representative for the Western Balkans. In this role, Palmer will lead our efforts to strengthen U.S. diplomatic engagement in support of peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and focus on integration of the Western Balkan countries into Western institutions.
Zaev: We can give argument to reassure Macron
We can give arguments to reassure President Macron that “methodology prior to enlargement” proposal could be converted into “enlargement along with change in methodology”, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev wrote on his Facebook page, alluding to France’s Emmanuel Macron’s initiative for new enlargement methodology.
“We are not only a strategic interest, we are Europe. It means we will become a member of the European Union once we wrap up the comprehensive reform at home. The pre-accession process and closure of chapters will help us make it happen. The accession negotiations will help us wrap up domestic reform,” Zaev wrote on his Facebook page.
- Region3 weeks ago
Vucic insists on EU membership guarantee as part of Kosovo deal
- Macedonia2 weeks ago
Arrest warrant issued for Spasov
- World3 weeks ago
Tesla’s Surprise Profit Answers Skeptics
- World3 months ago
IWPG’s Relentless Pursuit of Global Peace Offers New Hope
- Region1 month ago
Kurti: Albanians’ national unification cannot happen in EU
- Macedonia3 weeks ago
Pendarovski due in Albania tomorrow
- World2 months ago
Space Force Formal Launch Pegged Back Due to Cost
- Region2 months ago
Greece hit by general strike called by public sector union