European Western Balkans: McAllister welcomes opening of talks, urges for EU’s help to fight COVID-19 in WB
BRUSSELS – Following the Council of Ministers’ decision to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee David McAllister (EPP) stated that, in the midst of a crisis, the EU has overcome divisions and demonstrated a genuine solidarity with our friends and partners.
“I welcome the belated decision to open accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia, while regretting that we had to wait till now for this important step”, McAllister said.
According to him, now is the time to continue the joint work under the enhanced enlargement methodology, and pursue together the broader goal of EU integration, namely that of ensuring peace, stability, solidarity and freedom in Europe.
“The EU must also ensure proper, flexible and efficient support under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA)”, McAllister stressed.
In the context of the COVID-19 emergency, he welcomed the proposals on extending the EU Solidarity Fund to cover major health emergencies, while urging to open it to all the Western Balkan countries.
“We must take the necessary additional action to strengthen public health systems and mitigate the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis in the Western Balkans”, he concluded.