The PES Group welcomed today this year's enlargement package (which has been published by the European Commission the day before), assessing the implementation of the European Union's enlargement policy in candidate countries and potential candidate countries, as well as setting out the way forward.
PES Group member Franco Iacop, President of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Regional Council (Italy), who has just been appointed CoR rapporteur on the Engagement package, expressed his satisfaction regarding the proposal to open accession negotiations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Albania:
"Given the progress made, these countries deserve to start their concrete paths towards EU membership. I am convinced that Albania and FYROM can play their part in the European Union. Through close cooperation with Albanian and Macedonian cities, we will do our best to encourage their reforms for the benefit of their citizens and their efforts to transform ambitions into reality."
Mr. Iacop continued by calling out to the European Council to react positively and adopt the Commission proposals without delay. “I hope that at the Sophia Summit on 17th May, EU leaders will take this step forward, before a formal decision can be taken at the next June European Council.“
The current enlargement agenda covers the partners of the Western Balkans and Turkey. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is a candidate country since 2005 and Albania obtained candidate status in 2014.