Albania: Denmark, EU candidate status to be postponed

France also 'skeptical,' Italy in favor of Tirana entry

17 December, 13:48

    (ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, DECEMBER 17 - The decision to grant EU candidate status to Albania will be postponed, according to Danish Minister for European Affairs Nick Haekkerup, who made the statement upon entering the EU General Affairs Council meeting. Haekkerup told journalists, "The Danish position is that Albania has made much progress, but we need to see long-term results before granting candidate status." The Danish minister said his position is close to that of The Netherlands, another of the "skeptical" countries whose group also includes France, Germany, and Great Britain. Supporting Tirana's candidacy are Italy, together with Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia and Ireland, who joined in writing a letter to Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, stating that they are "strongly" convinced that Tirana has satisfied "all of the conditions requested by the EU." Without the unanimous vote of all 28 nations, required for any decisions regarding EU enlargement, General Affairs Council members could recognize that Tirana has made "much progress" in work towards EU accession, as evidenced by the latest report from the European Commission regarding EU enlargement. At the same time, EU sources say that it's also possible there could be "a clear indication that a decision will be made in the first semester of 2014." (ANSAmed).

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