20:59 GMT +311 December 2019
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    Austrian Federal Minister Not Ruling Out EU Consensus on Albania Accession Talks

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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - Gernot Blumel, Austria's federal minister at the Chancellery for the EU, Arts, Culture and Media, said on Tuesday that he was not ruling out the possibility of achieving a consensus among EU ministers on whether to allow EU membership talks with Albania.

    "We have always been in favor of an enlargement perspective for the Western Balkan states… There still is a possibility that there will be a consensus and we are working hard on it," Blumel told reporters.

    On Tuesday, EU ministers are attending the General Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg, and are expected to discuss the 2018 enlargement package, presented by the European Commission in April.

    READ MORE: Kosovo’s Plan B: If Not Accepted Into EU, Join Albania?

    The European Union is split on whether to open membership talks with Albania and Macedonia, both of which are EU candidate countries. French President Emmanuel Macron said in April that he was not in favor of the bloc's enlargement without implementing a reform on the better functioning of the European Union first.

    Moreover, media reported last week that the Dutch parliament blocked the launch of EU accession negotiations with Albania over concerns related to combating corruption in the Balkan country.


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