Denmark, France and the Netherlands are postponing the start of the formal accession negotiations to the European Union of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Albania, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said after a General Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday.
Kotzias said that during the council meeting on enlargement, a majority of 25 EU member-states supported the start of negotiations immediately, ending by the summer of 2019, while Denmark, France and the Netherlands are calling for a postponement.
Kotzias said “we are now working on a compromise, which would allow us to open the accession negotiation process by the summer of 2019.”
The Greek foreign minister said he explained to his colleagues the importance of starting negotiations soon as an issue of geopolitical security in the region and as a way of preventing further domestic problems from arising in those two countries.
Addressing different priorities expressed by member-states at the meeting, Kotzias said that populism cannot be fought by backtracking. Instead, he suggested, the EU’s economic and monetary union (EMU) process could develop along with the union’s enlargement.