Greece will not consent to the next stage in Albania’s EU accession talks if there is no progress on the matter of the elected mayor of Himare, Fredi Beleri, Greek diplomatic sources reiterated in Brussels on Tuesday.
The same sources underlined that Greece’s position is clear and has been explained to the Albanian side. They noted that Greece had consented to the sending of an EU letter to Tirana, which was the first step in starting accession negotiations, with the condition that Albania must have made “a clear move toward restoring the political will of the Himare electorate” before the next stage in the process. The same sources noted that this was not a matter that concerned the independence of the judiciary but a purely political-administrative decision, while adding that the Greek side is not asking for a judicial decision or interfering, only that the elected mayor of Himare be given permission to be sworn into office and to exercise his political rights.
The agenda of the EU General Affairs Council meeting on Tuesday, which is preparing the EU Summit on December 14 and 15, includes EU Enlargement and the accession progress of the Western Balkan countries. The possibility of decoupling Albania’s accession from that of North Macedonia’s remains open.
According to the draft conclusions of the Summit, the European leaders will reaffirm their full and indisputable commitment to the prospect of the Western Balkans joining the EU and will call for the acceleration of their accession process. Negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina will begin once the criteria are sufficiently met under this plan.