BELGRADE – Lajčák appointed in April?

Slovakia’s Miroslav Lajčák will be appointed as the new EU envoy for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and the Western Balkans, BETA news agency heard from EU sources. Foreign ministers might also recommend the opening of accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania, yet perhaps without a precise date.

“Lajčák’s responsibilities will include the Western Balkans region, but his main task will be to support the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue,” according to the same sources, which added that all procedures and preparations had been underway to end the Slovakian foreign minister’s current term in office, and a decision on the next EU envoy could be made based on the “written consent” of EU member states.

Chances are good that Skopje and Tirana will get the green light for the accession talks with the EU, but the final decision will be made by EU foreign ministers after a video conference debate. The odds are currently “75%”, the sources added. 

Ambassadors said in a draft version of conference conclusions that “in light of the progress made in the reform process” the decision to open talks with North Macedonia and Albania is likely to be made “by June at the latest”. (EURACTIV.rs, beta.rs)

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