German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a conference on Monday that there are still chances for Macedonia to hold its first inter-governmental session with official Brussels for start of the EU membership negotiations. “We are facing difficulties to secure the organisation of the first inter-governmental conference with North Macedonia, because there is still necessity of negotiations between official Skopje and Sofia. I really hope that North Macedonia will start the membership negotiations with the EU this year, while Albania will have to wait a bit longer. We dedicate a lot of attention to the Western Balkans. True, there are conflicts there, but there is also significant progress, thanks to the Berlin Process, which has so far provided very good results,” Merkel said.