Croatian MEP Tonino Picula has been appointed EP rapporteur for Western Balkans ahead of a summit in Zagreb in May 2020.
His role will be to prepare recommendations to the Parliament, Council and Commission regarding the opening of accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania as well as providing new impetus to the enlargement process, Picula's office reported on Wednesday.
One of the main topics and challenges that Picula will be involved with in the report is reaching a consensus in the Council regarding the enlargement process to countries in the Western Balkans, his office said in a press release, adding that the report is also aimed at analysing and responding to new proposed reforms for the enlargement reform process.
"Reform debates must not stop the process. Countries need to be assessed individually based on individual merits and achievements. Montenegro is the forerunner in that process and I expect that the achieved results and invested efforts to be recognised and that pre-accession negotiations be closed during this term," Picula concluded.
"I am exceptionally honoured with this new role as rapporteur for recommendations on the Western Balkans ahead of the coming summit in Zagreb...I will offer concrete recommendations that will enable blockades to be removed and to finally open negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania in Zagreb already," Picula said.
"By making a mistake, French President Emmanuel Macron, who blocked the process of opening negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania, in fact succeeded in something he did not plan - he returned the issue of enlargement into the focus of being debated at the European level," added Picula.