EP: breaking the European promise to the Balkan countries & #8216; strategic miss & #8217;

Plenary session - Tineke Strik

The blockade of the Netherlands, France and Denmark against the accession negotiations with Northern Macedonia and Albania is a & #8220; strategic miss & #8221 ;. By a large majority (412 votes in favor, 136 against and 30 abstentions), the European Parliament in a resolution condemned the decision of the EU leaders.

The government leaders decided at their summit in Brussels last week not to give the two Balkan countries the green light. France believes that the EU must first reorganize and improve itself before new countries can be admitted. Dutch objections focused primarily on Albania, which, according to The Hague, has not modernized the government apparatus enough. There are also doubts about corruption and not enough fighting crime.

The issue is likely to become a 'nagging file' between government leaders themselves, and between government leaders, the European Commission and the European Parliament. Parliament is pushing the EU countries for a new decision at the EU summit in December.

The European Parliament expressed its strong disappointment & #8220; & #8221; and & #8220; regrets the action of France, Denmark and the Netherlands & #8221 ;. & #8220; This damages the credibility of the EU and gives a negative message. It also makes it attractive for other countries, which may not have the same values and interests as the EU, to strengthen relations with Albania and Northern Macedonia, the parliament warns.

Immediately after the EU summit, EU President Donald Tusk lashed out at 'the few Member States' who refused to agree to open negotiations with Northern Macedonia and Albania on accession. Tusk referred to France and the Netherlands, which are blocking the start of the procedure. "Personally, I think this is a mistake," said Tusk.

MEP Tineke Strik (GroenLinks) said that the EU promised at the time that joining the EU would bring stability and peace to the Western Balkans. Three countries cannot be allowed to break that European promise, Strik said.