Visegrad Four countries are disappointed at the EU summit’s decision in October to halt accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia, V4 prime ministers said after their meeting on Nov. 5 in Prague.
At the two-day EU summit in October, a large majority of countries supported launching accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia, as both countries fulfilled the requirements of the European Commission. However, EU member states failed to reach a unanimous decision necessary to open the accession talks.
According to the diplomats present at the summit, France, in particular, opposed the idea, while the Netherlands and Denmark had some reservations as well.
According to Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, the behavior of the EU sends a negative signal to the Western Balkan countries and their citizens.
“I am seriously concerned whether the citizens of these countries will be still willing to adopt major reforms associated with the EU accession talks or whether they will eventually recognize greater potential in cooperation with Russia, Turkey, China or Arab countries,” Pellegrini warned.
He further pointed out that in the case of another migration crisis, Western Balkan countries could have a decisive role in regulating the influx of refugees to the EU.
“Slovakia and other V4 countries will always be on the side of these countries, and we will encourage and motivate them to do everything possible to enter the EU,” added Pellegrini.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán also expressed disappointment with the results of the EU Summit. According to Orbán, it is important to accelerate negotiations with countries that have already entered the EU accession talks.
“Negotiations with Serbia and Montenegro should switch to high gear,” he said.
At the September summit in Prague, V4 Prime Ministers have already expressed their support for Western Balkan countries in a joint declaration. In the document, the V4 countries stated that the reunification of Europe cannot be completed without the Western Balkan countries joining the EU.
The declaration also identified credible enlargement policy as a strategic investment for the security, stability and prosperity of the EU.