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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
News article15 March 2023Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

High Representative Borrell and Commissioner Várhelyi in Albania and North Macedonia for the bilateral Stabilisation and Association Councils


High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell, and Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Oliver Várhelyi, will be in Albania on 15-16 March and in North Macedonia on 16-17 March for the 12th and 16th Stabilisation and Association Councils that take place for the first time respectively in Tirana and Skopje.

These meetings will be an opportunity to review EU-Albania and EU-North Macedonia bilateral relations under their respective Stabilisation and Association Agreements, and to discuss recent developments in both countries and in the Western Balkans, as well as the overall progress on EU accession. 

Today in Albania, HR/VP Borrell and Commissioner Várhelyi will meet with Prime Minister Edi Rama. Tomorrow, High Representative Borrell will chair the 12th EU-Albania Stabilisation and Association Council, which will be followed by a joint press conference, with Prime Minister Rama and Commissioner Várhelyi, which will be broadcast on EbS

The same day, High Representative Borrell will hold a bilateral meeting with Minister of Defence Niko Peleshi. He will also participate in the inauguration of the Venetian Tower in Durres, the restoration of which has been funded by the EU following the devastating earthquake in 2019 together with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olta Xhacka and Minister for Culture Elva Margariti and hold an exchange with youth representatives. On his side, Commissioner Várhelyi will meet with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olta Xhacka, and Deputy Prime Minister, Belinda Balluku. He will also hold discussions with members of the National Council of European Integration in the Albanian Parliament together with representatives of the judiciary, the civil society and the academia.

In North Macedonia, HR/VP Borrell and Commissioner Várhelyi will meet with Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski on Thursday, 16 March. On Friday, High Representative Borrell will lead the EU delegation in the 16th EU-North Macedonia Stabilisation and Association Council. After the Council, High Representative Borrell, Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovacevski, and Commissioner Várhelyi will hold a press conference which will be transmitted live on EbS at around 11:30 CET.

The same day, HR/VP Borrell will hold a number of bilateral meetings, including with Minister of Defence, Slavjanka Petrovska; and the Speaker, Deputy Speakers, Political Party Coordinators and Chairs of the National Council for European Integration Committee on European Affairs of the Parliament of North Macedonia. He will also meet with President Stevo Pendarovski, with whom he will jointly address the press.

Press points, pictures and videos will be available on EbS. More information on EU-Albania is available here and on EU-North Macedonia relations here.