Sources: Finnish EU Presidency to propose Start of Talks and new Methodology

Finland’s EU Presidency will propose a start of accession of talks with Macedonia and, in the meantime, adoption of a new methodology for negotiations, on which France is insistent, it’s been found out from sources from the Government. The Inter-Governmental Conference would be held “in the first half of 2020 at the latest”. The new methodology, which will cover all candidate countries, in their view, provides for a reversible process, that is, if a country backslides in the negotiations process, it will revert to the chapter in which expected progress hasn’t been registered. EU Ambassadors should discuss the Finnish Presidency’s proposal at the so-called COREPER meeting, but it remains unknown whether it will be accepted, primarily by France, which actually asks for the methodology to be adopted before a date is given to Macedonia and Albania. In an attempt to meet France’s demands, Finland has announced that in the draft conclusion, it, as a country holding the Presidency, will ask for a change to the approach in the enlargement process, which will most likely get a formal framework next spring.