EU agrees to accession talks with Albania, North Macedonia | European Union News

The event comes after North Macedonia resolved an extended dispute with its EU neighbour Bulgaria.

The European Union has agreed to open accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia after Skopje resolved an extended dispute with its EU neighbour Bulgaria.

The 27 member states have “simply agreed to open accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia”, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, whose nation holds the EU’s rotating presidency, mentioned on Twitter on Tuesday.

“We now have taken one other necessary step in direction of bringing the Western Balkans nearer to the EU,” he mentioned after the inexperienced mild in a gathering of EU envoys in Brussels.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and his North Macedonian counterpart Dimitar Kovacevski have been anticipated in Brussels to formally begin the accession talks.

Rama on Tuesday shared a tweet by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who had visited Bulgaria final month in an effort to beat Sofia’s blockade earlier than the summit in Brussels.

“I welcome the vote of the Macedonian parliament paving the best way for the primary accession conferences of the European Union with North Macedonia and Albania,” Scholz mentioned. “We wish you as members of the European Union and shall be at your aspect all the best way!”

Language dispute

The announcement comes after North Macedonia and Bulgaria on Sunday signed a French proposal that will make Macedonian an official language within the EU, in addition to present different ensures.

Bulgaria had till lately blocked any progress for accession talks due to a dispute between the international locations over an extended listing of linguistic and historic points.

The dispute additionally stalled Albania’s bid to turn out to be a member of the 27-nation bloc, because of a long-held coverage that the ambitions of each international locations to affix the EU be handled collectively.

Beneath stress from France, which held the EU presidency till July 1, the Bulgarian parliament final month agreed to raise its veto in alternate for EU ensures that North Macedonia will meet sure calls for on contentious points.

North Macedonia was designated as a candidate for EU membership almost 20 years in the past and had already labored via huge variations with Greece so as to be part of NATO in March 2020.

Albania was awarded candidate standing by the EU in 2014.

In an interview with Politico final month, Rama had been pessimistic in regards to the chance that Macedonia would acquiesce to accession talks.

“I don’t have any expectation. I feel nothing will occur,” he mentioned.

An extended course of

The launch of the method, which is anticipated to take years, is a part of a broader enlargement coverage that alerts the elevated strategic significance of the Western Balkans to the EU following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

On February 28, 2022, shortly after it was invaded by Russia, Ukraine utilized for EU membership.

In a landmark June 23 resolution, the European Parliament adopted a decision calling for the fast granting of candidate standing to Kyiv.

The EU additionally gave candidate standing to Moldova, one other former Soviet republic that borders Ukraine.

The choice to award the “European perspective” fairly than formal candidate standing to Georgia was hailed as a big accomplishment by the federal government, whereas critics seen it as a well mannered means of turning down Tbilisi’s bid for candidacy.

North Macedonia votes to resolve dispute with Bulgaria | European Union News

Lawmakers go a deal geared toward settling a dispute with Bulgaria, clearing the best way to long-due EU membership talks.

Lawmakers in North Macedonia have handed a French-brokered deal geared toward settling a dispute with Bulgaria, clearing the best way to long-due European Union membership talks.

A complete of 68 lawmakers from the 120-seat parliament voted in favour of the settlement on Saturday. Opposition politicians didn’t take part within the vote and left the room.

The deal proposes that North Macedonia’s structure be amended to recognise a Bulgarian minority, whereas the remaining points be mentioned between Skopje and Sofia. The proposal doesn’t require Bulgaria to recognise the Macedonian language.

In alternate, Bulgaria will enable its West Balkan neighbour to begin membership talks with the EU. After the settlement was adopted, governing celebration deputies rolled out EU and North Macedonian flags.

Each European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel took to Twitter to congratulate North Macedonia.

“It was a historic alternative and also you seized it,” wrote von der Leyen, calling it a “huge step in your path in the direction of a European future”.

“Our future is collectively and we welcome you with open arms,” Michel tweeted.

The primary opposition nationalist VMRE-DPMNE celebration bloc has spearheaded each day protests for the reason that starting of July over a deal they’ve stated endangers the Macedonian language and identification.

Bulgaria’s parliament lifted its veto on Macedonian-EU talks final month, which additionally triggered protests in Bulgaria and contributed to a no-confidence vote that toppled the federal government.

North Macedonia has been ready since 2008 to start EU accession talks. First, Greece objected to the nation’s membership due to claims to the identify “Macedonia,” which prompted the swap to the identify “North Macedonia”.

Then Bulgaria put a block on Skopje’s bid in a dispute in regards to the origins of the Macedonian language, remedy of Bulgarian minorities in North Macedonia and questions on shared historical past.

France, which had the EU Council presidency till final month, labored out the compromise, which Bulgaria authorized in June.

Nonetheless, nationalist opposition events in North Macedonia, in addition to some liberal critics, have stated that they fear that the character of the deal would nonetheless enable Bulgaria to veto the nation’s EU membership.

Von der Leyen visited Skopje this week to guarantee lawmakers that accession talks wouldn’t be delayed by bilateral discussions on historic interpretation and warranted them the deal recognises Macedonian as a language.

Putin, African Union head meet Friday to discuss food crisis | Russia-Ukraine war News

Talks are anticipated to concentrate on grain provides and political cooperation amid Russia’s standoff with the West over Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will host the pinnacle of the African Union for talks centered on grain provides and political cooperation amid Kremlin’s standoff with the West over Ukraine.

Washington and Brussels have imposed unprecedented sanctions towards Moscow over the invasion of Ukraine, pushing Putin to hunt new markets and strengthen ties with international locations in Africa and Asia.

Cereal costs in Africa, the world’s poorest continent, have surged due to the stoop in exports from Ukraine, sharpening the influence of battle and local weather change and sparking fears of social unrest.

On Friday, Putin will obtain Senegalese President Macky Sall, who chairs the African Union, at his Black Sea residence in Sochi.

The go to is aimed toward “liberating up shares of cereals and fertilisers, the blockage of which significantly impacts African international locations”, together with easing the Ukraine battle, Sall’s workplace stated on Thursday.

Sall can be accompanied by the president of the African Union Fee.

The Kremlin stated talks would handle “problems with Russia’s interplay with the African Union, together with the enlargement of political dialogue, financial and humanitarian cooperation”.

“The present worldwide agenda” may even be mentioned, it added.

Moscow’s army marketing campaign in Ukraine and a barrage of worldwide sanctions on Russia have disrupted provides of fertiliser, wheat and different commodities from each international locations, pushing up costs for meals and gasoline, particularly in growing nations.

‘Unprecedented disaster’

Ships loaded with grain stay blocked in Ukraine, which earlier than February was a number one exporter of corn and wheat and alone accounted for 50 p.c of world commerce in sunflower seeds and oil.

Putin has stated Moscow is able to search for methods to ship grain caught in Ukrainian ports however has demanded the West elevate sanctions.

Meals costs in Africa have already exceeded these within the aftermath of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings and 2008 meals riots.

The UN has stated Africa faces an “unprecedented” disaster attributable to the battle.

Sall earlier urged European Union leaders to assist ease the disaster on key commodities and stated their resolution to expel Russian banks from the SWIFT monetary messaging system might damage meals provides to the continent.

Sall, nonetheless, acknowledged Russia’s blockade of the Ukrainian metropolis of Odesa had harmed meals exports, and backed UN-led efforts to free the port.

In 2019, Putin hosted dozens of African leaders in Sochi in a bid to reassert Russia’s affect on the continent.

Although by no means a colonial energy in Africa, Moscow was a vital participant on the continent within the Soviet period, backing independence actions and coaching a era of African leaders.

Russia’s ties with Africa declined with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and lately, China has emerged as a key overseas energy on the continent.

EU leaders congratulate Macron for French election victory | European Union News

European stability was the main focus of most of the congratulatory messages despatched to President Macron after his re-election.

European Union leaders shortly congratulated French President Emmanuel Macron on his election victory over his far-right rival Marine Le Pen.

Although polls predicted Macron profitable Sunday’s second spherical of the French presidential election, the expertise of Britain’s shock vote to depart the European Union and the election of Donald Trump in the US in 2016 had some involved about the potential for an election upset.

A victory for Le Pen, a deeply eurosceptic politician who has professed admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, would have had big implications for the steadiness of the EU, analysts and diplomats mentioned.

Le Pen had lengthy flirted with the concept of leaving the EU, though she insisted throughout her marketing campaign that she had no “secret agenda” this time for quitting the bloc or the euro single forex.

European stability was the main focus of most of the congratulatory messages despatched to Macron.

“Bravo Emmanuel”, European Council President Charles Michel wrote in a tweet.

“On this turbulent interval, we’d like a stable Europe and a France completely dedicated to a extra sovereign and extra strategic European Union,” Michel wrote.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi mentioned Macron’s re-election was “fantastic information for all of Europe”.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner additionally mentioned Europe was the most important winner from Macron’s victory.

The leaders of Sweden, Romania, Lithuania, Finland, the Netherlands and Greece, in addition to European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen, all reacted inside half an hour of the end result with their congratulations.

“I sit up for persevering with our in depth and constructive cooperation throughout the EU and NATO, and to additional strengthening the superb relationship between our nations,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte mentioned.

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted his congratulations to Macron.

Sanchez on Thursday wrote a joint opinion piece in French day by day newspaper Le Monde, with Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, criticising Le Pen and urging folks to vote for Macron.

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the general public face of Brexit for a lot of Europeans, applauded the end result, pledging cooperation with Macron and saying: “France is one in all our closest and most essential allies”.

Not everybody shared within the celebrations.

Riot police charged and sprayed tear gasoline on demonstrators in central Paris protesting Macron’s re-election, footage from social media confirmed.

The gang of principally younger folks had gathered within the central neighbourhood of Chatelet to protest Macron’s victory, in keeping with Reuters information company.