"A geo-strategic and historic mistake"

EESC criticises Council decision not to open accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania

The EESC is deeply disappointed by EU leaders' decision, at the European Council on 17-18 October, to further postpone accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania.

EESC President Luca Jahier found it "the wrong decision for the second time, and the breaking of a promise, putting Europe's credibility at stake". He called the EESC resolution "a silent commitment of solidarity".

In its resolution, the EESC calls not opening negotiations a geo-strategic and historic mistake. "The EU must not disregard that other global players are stretching their wings and becoming more active in the region", underlined Mr Jahier.

"Europe is hope for the Western Balkans, particularly for young people", said Dilyana Slavova, president of the EESC External Relations section, calling on members to see the enlargement as a reunification.

The declaration of the 7th Western Balkans Civil Society Forum reiterated that enlargement would spread democratic values and legal standards to the Western Balkans. Members warned that the signal that opening negotiations would have sent to the population should not be underestimated.

"We need to stick to our promise, and we need to give hope to the people", was the common credo.  (dgf)