Prime Minister Charles Michel, future President of the European Council as of December, pleaded on Friday for the EU to continue discussions on EU expansion, after the 28 members were unable to agree on accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania.
France is at the forefront of a few refractory countries and calls for a revision of the accession process before opening talks with Skopje and Tirana.
"After an intense debate, we realized last night that it was not possible to reach a consensus. We must continue the dialogue," Michel said upon his arrival at the Summit.
"The file will now be forwarded to the EU Council, we will see how it evolves," he added, reminding the strategic importance of the Western Balkans for the European Union. "Many other actors" are trying to play a role in this region, Michel warned.
This same warning had been expressed more explicitly the day before by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.
"If Europe rejects the Balkans, states such as Russia, China and Turkey will benefit,” he said.
The Brussels Times