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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
News article19 July 2022Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations1 min read

First Intergovernmental Conferences with Albania and North Macedonia to kick-start the accession negotiation

Open negotiations

The first intergovernmental conferences (IGCs) opening the accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania are taking place today in Brussels. These IGCs mark the beginning of a new, decisive phase in the accession process of Albania and North Macedonia to the European Union. President of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen addressed the press ahead of the conferences this morning. On the EU side, the meetings are chaired by Minister of Foreign Affairs Petr Lipavský for the Czech Presidency with participation of High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell and Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi. The delegation of Albania is led by Prime Minister Edi Rama. The delegation of North Macedonia is led by Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski. The IGCs will be immediately followed in the afternoon by the inaugural meeting of the screening process organised by the Commission, which constitutes the first stage of the accession negotiations, and also allows candidate countries to familiarise themselves with the EU acquis. Opening remarks at the IGCs, press conferences after the IGCs and opening remarks in the inaugural meetings of the screening process can be followed on EbS. HR/VP Borrell's remarks at the Intergovernmental Conference on the accession of North Macedonia can be read here. More information on the accession process; EU-WB relationsEU-Albania relations and EU-North Macedonia relations can be found online. (For more information: Peter Stano – Tél. : +32 229 54553; Zoï Muletier +32 229-94306)