Progress of the adhesion procedures to the European Union of Albania and Northern Macedonia

In April 2018, the European Commission recommended to open accession negotiations with Albania. In its June 2018 Conclusions, the Council acknowledged the progress achieved and set out the path towards opening accession negotiations in June 2019. Albania has continued its good cooperation on readmission of own nationals, swiftly honoring readmission requests from EU Member States. Albania has engaged in good cooperation with the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (EBCGA) on return operations from EU Member States to Albania. As regards property rights, Albania is taking into account the October 2019 Venice Commission opinion issued at the request of the Albanian Parliament and is revising the draft Law on the Finalization of Transitional Ownership Processes, in consultation with international partners. The new draft is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2020. Efforts need to continue to advance the process for registration and compensation. Albania needs to swiftly adopt the remaining implementing legislation related to the 2017 framework Law on the Protection of National Minorities. The Commission is closely monitoring this matter and will continue to do so in the future. The Commission is also closely monitoring the developments regarding the media law, where the Venice Commission is expected to issue an opinion in March. In relation to the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Albania has sustained its policy to align 100% with EU declarations and decisions.

Regarding Northern Macedonia, in April 2018 the Commission recommended to open accession negotiations with North Macedonia. In its June 2018 Conclusions, the Council acknowledged the progress achieved and set out the path towards opening accession negotiations in June 2019. The Council underlined that the assessment of progress should be part of the Commission’s yearly report and include further tangible and sustained results, in particular on: judicial reforms and proactive investigations, prosecutions and final convictions in corruption and organized crime cases, including at high level intelligence and security services reform, public administration reform. In line with the Council Conclusions, the Commission started the preparatory work, including through the technical explanation of chapters of the acquis.
Following the outcome of the European Council in October 2019, the political leaders agreed by common accord to organize early parliamentary elections on 12 April 2020. In line with the national legislation, a technical government, led by Prime Minister Spasovski and including two Ministers and three Deputy Ministers from the main opposition party, was appointed on 3 January 2020. In addition to organizing early parliamentary elections, its strategic priorities include the opening of EU accession negotiations, completing NATO accession, reform of judiciary, fight against corruption and organized crime and implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement.


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