The Party of European Socialists supports the European Commission’s proposal to open EU accession negotiations with Albania and Macedonia.

PES president Sergei Stanishev said:

“These talks in themselves will have a very positive effect in the region. When launched, they will constitute a very powerful incentive for reform in both countries and for wider cooperation within the region. I congratulate the European Commission and High Representative Federica Mogherini on their strategic thinking.

“We have been a very vocal supporter of the integration of the Western Balkans in the EU, since I was a prime minister of Bulgaria. This is where we all belong. But joining the EU is not a lottery, there needs to be full commitment to EU principles and values from the candidate countries.

“I know prime ministers Edi Rama and Zoran Zaev are particularly committed to those values. Let’s use this window of opportunity to consolidate peace and stability in the region.”