Latvia backs EU path for Albania, North Macedonia

On 18 June the Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, took part in the meeting of the European Union (EU) General Affairs Council in Luxembourg, using the occasion to express support for further EU enlargement.

In an exchange of views on EU enlargement, Rinkēvičs said it was in the EU’s economic and security interests to move ahead with the enlargement policy by implementing a transparent EU integration process.

“It is essential that the Council take a unified position on the further enlargement policy. In view of progress achieved as tasked by the Council in June 2018, Latvia supports the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. Reform progress and performance against criteria should be acknowledged accordingly with further steps towards integration with the European Union so as not to undermine reform motivation and the EU’s credibility,” said Edgars Rinkēvičs.

The Latvian Foreign Minister noted that all candidates and potential candidates should continue introducing reforms in the priority areas pointed out by the European Commission. Of special importance are the results concerning the rule of law and fundamental freedoms, with the entire process of EU integration depending on that.

“The rule of law, media independence, freedom of expression, a uniform foreign policy, and good neighbourly relations form the foundation for the European Union values, which have to be respected in order to become an EU Member State,” Edgars Rinkēvičs said.

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