Decouling' as Alternative for Opening EU's Accession Talks with Albania and North Macedonia

Portugal's Secretary for European Affairs Ana Paula Zacarias has stated at the EU General Affairs Council that work is underway on a joint EU solution for Albania and North Macedonia.
Portugal currently holds the EU presidency, while Zacarias said on Tuesday that the debate on the intergovernmental conference for the two countries will continue, whether or not there will be one.
She was quoted by local media as stressing that the rule of law is at the heart of the membership process.
"We discussed the issue of membership for North Macedonia and Albania. But we are trying for a joint solution- for the two countries to start the accession process," she said.
In addition the Portuguese senior diplomat said the rule of law is at the heart of the process as part of the EU commitment process.

"This is at the heart of the new methodology, this is essential. We will take it into account when analyzing the whole process. We hope to continue discussions and debates to see if we will have an intergovernmental conference for the two countries. But really I need to reinforce this message, that the rule of law is essential," said Zacarias. /argumentum.al