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Eadaily.com: Macedonian President: There are no alternatives to European integration for the Western Balkans
Macedonia, Albania and other countries in the Western Balkans must continue on their path to European integration, as “there is no alternative”. Macedonia’s President Stevo Pandarovski said this during a visit to Albania on October 27th and met with his Albanian counterpart, Ilir Meta. Pendarovski invited all countries in the region to hold an extraordinary summit to discuss the topic of EU enlargement and reject “all alternatives to European integration”. Pendarovski and Meta agreed that their countries should maintain a good level of political co-operation and focus on economic development in the future, Tanjug reports. As EADaily reported, earlier in the regional press there was information that France had initiated informal diplomatic consultations with some countries in the Western Balkans, intending to offer them “privileged partner status” instead of full membership in the European Union. Under this initiative, these countries will receive financial assistance, special privileges for access to the European market and other benefits in exchange for a “tacit refusal” to participate fully in the European Union. Because of France’s position, the European Union did not give the green light in October to begin talks on Macedonia and Albania’s EU accession. So far, the decision has been postponed twice.
Macron’s involvement in foreign policy is a natural result of domestic problems. A series of grand initiatives that are unlikely to succeed – the Iran-US negotiation mediation, the new strategic opening up to Russia, the Eurozone reform, initiatives affecting the conflicts in Syria, the Minsk Agreements, including the EU enlargement veto with Albania and Macedonia is talking about an ambition that strongly outweighs the possibilities. The damage is certain, the benefits are probable in the future.