EU no longer focused on the region, says former deputy minister

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The former deputy minister of integration Gentian Elezi told Euronews Albania that the continuous postponement on opening negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia is a reflection of the domestic issues in the European Union, notably difficulties in reaching a decision on several issues, particularly when it comes to enlargement.

On the other hand, he says that discussions to decouple Albania and North Macedonia, and the fact that opening negotiations with the two countries was passed silently, shows that the EU is no longer focused on the region.

“Under this situation, of course, we have the right to speculate that it might be some form to buy more time to postpone the decision, as every decision impacts the political agenda of member countries”, said Elezi. “But it might be also an excuse from member states to delay the decision”.

According to him, concerns over external influences are not strong in the EU.

“We see this in steps that have not been taken, as in the case of Montenegro, where no date has been announced on its membership even though it has been negotiating for ten years with the EU. This indicates that the region is not under the focus of the bloc”, said the former deputy minister.

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