A formal reason for the postponement came from Germany a few days before the Luxembourg meeting
EU ministers, who met at the General Affairs Council in Luxembourg, discussed the possible accession of Albania and North Macedonia to the EU.
Their conclusion was to postpone the decision of opening talks to October 2019, dealing a major blow to both countries’ EU accession hopes.
The EU ministerial meeting ended up as a major disappointment especially for North Macedonia, which had nurtured hopes that its historic “Prespa” agreement with Greece on the country’s name would be rewarded with an EU accession ticket.
Albania and North Macedonia had hoped that European ministers would give them the go-ahead at this meeting, in line with a European Commission recommendation issued on 29 May.
Some EU members’ states, such Netherlands and France, confirmed their stance on opposing further EU expansion as they expressed doubts about Albania’s EU accession on the grounds of corruption and organised crime.