News that EU Foreign Ministers meeting Tuesday in Luxembourg for the General Affairs Council will not adopt formal conclusions on the progress of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia towards opening EU membership negotiations, has been met with disappointment but determination from the MEP who leads for the country’s accession in the European Parliament.
Rapporteur Richard Howitt MEP, whose resolution recommending an immediate start to EU membership negotiations was adopted overwhelmingly in the European Parliament in May said, “I will not defend an EU decision which I do not agree with. It remains my absolute view and the view of the European Parliament that membership negotiations should begin.
According to Howitt, “No-one can ignore the difficulties faced since the events of December 2012, but I believe there is political will in the country. The Government and opposition in Skopje must avoid recrimination, avoid blame and to use their energy positively in meeting the challenges head on.
Howitt added: “Today is not the end game. Efforts towards getting these negotiations open will continue towards December’s European Council and I will be at the forefront of that effort.”