Latvian foreign minister welcomes launch of EU accession talks with Albania

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (Unity) welcomed the launch of EU accession negotiations with Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) at the meeting of the EU General Affairs Council in Luxembourg on Tuesday.

The Latvian Foreign Ministry said that Rinkevics participated in the meetings of the General Affairs Council and the General Affairs Council (Article 50) during which the ministers shared their views on the agenda for the European Council on June 28-29, including the topics of migration, security and defense, as well as jobs, growth, and competitiveness.

Rinkevics also congratulated Greece and the FYROM over their historic agreement on renaming of the latter. If the name is ratified by the parliaments of both countries, and the FYROM also approves it in a referendum, the country will be thereafter called the Republic of North Macedonia.

“This is the matter of the EU’s credibility. The time has come to deliver on the promise. In addition, the launch of negotiations meets our own political, economic and security interests. If our intentions are serious, we must prove it by actual deeds, not only in political rhetoric. We must send a clear signal to other countries in the region: when reforms have been implemented and they have yielded results, the European Union is prepared to deliver on its commitments,” the Latvian foreign minister said.

Referring to the agenda of the upcoming European Council, the Latvian foreign minister drew his counterparts’ attention to the need for making effort towards reducing of the migration flow across the European Union’s external border and restricting further migration into the Schengen Area.

The ministers approved the Council of the EU conclusions on EU enlargement and on the stabilization and association process based on the 2018 enlargement package presented by the European Commission and its reports on the Western Balkans countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia) and Turkey.

The Council also held a hearing on the rule of law in Poland.

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