New Methodology Mustn’t be Condition for Start of Negotiations, Romeo Says

The negotiations methodology should give dynamism, not complicate, the enlargement process. This is the stand of Italy, which considers that the new methodology can take place simultaneously with reforms of the EU. In an interview with Radio Free Europe, Italian Ambassador Carlo Romeo says the new methodology mustn’t be a condition for a start of negotiations with Tirana and Skopje. “Ideas which are in the Italian non-paper, which is a contribution to the debate, rest upon one condition. We accept the dialogue, we will participate in the negotiations, but we don’t want that this debate on the new mechanism will turn into a new condition and, in particular, that it shouldn’t delay again the opening of the negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania,” he points out. According to Romeo, currently, there is no initiative for full-fledged membership of the two countries to be substituted by some alternative to that. In the interview, he reiterates also Italy’s stand that the historic mistake of not giving a date in October to the two countries must be fixed as soon as possible, as early as March. However, in the Ambassador’s view, until then, there must be intensive continuation of reforms in Macedonia, primarily when it comes to the rule of law, judicial independence, as well as serious and concrete fight against corruption and organized crime.