V4 queries EU Council head on Albania, N. Macedonia accession talks

The prime ministers of Visegrad Group (V4) countries Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary appealed on Wednesday to EU Council head Donald Tusk for a debate on launching EU accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia at this week's EU summit.

In a letter to Tusk, the four prime ministers voiced their disappointment with Tuesday's sitting of the EU's General Affairs Council, which failed to reach consensus on launching accession talks for the two countries. They also proposed the matter be taken up at the Thursday-Friday EU summit in Brussels.

"Despite our failed hopes (after - PAP) the General Affairs Council, we propose a deciding debate at this week's EU summit, during which we should work together to unblock this situation," the letter's authors wrote, adding that decisions in the matter "will have an irreversible effect on our credibility in the region and, more importantly, serious and lasting consequences for our stability and security."

In their letter, the prime ministers noted that Albania and North Macedonia have achieved considerable success in accession-required reforms and regulating relations with their neighbours, and deplored the fact that despite this "the EU is still unable to guarantee these countries a clear European perspective."

At Tuesday's sitting of the General Affairs Council, the EU members' European affairs ministers failed to reach agreement on launching EU accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia. Earlier this month, appeals for launching the talks went out from EC President Jean-Claude Juncker, his designated successor Ursula von der Leyen, European Parliament President David Sassoli and Tusk. Starting the talks was also recommended by the European Commission in April 2018 and in May of this year.