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Bulgarian political crisis casts a shadow over the Balkan summit

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Brussels (AP) — The Bulgarian government's crisis on Thursday strengthens the hopes of EU member states of the Balkans and Europe aims to show its western determination in the face of Russia's war in Ukraine. There was a risk of damaging the Associated Summit.

Bulgarian parliament expressed distrust of Prime Minister Kiril Petkov's coalition government on Wednesday, demonstrating obstacles to the delay in starting EU accession negotiations between North Macedonia and Albania.

All three countries belong to NATO, but Bulgaria has taken advantage of its status as an EU member state and the other two have become 27 European blocks. I'm blocking you from participating. Bulgaria is in conflict with North Macedonia over ethnicity and language. That attitude has also stagnated the progress of Albania, where the EU treats the pair as a political package.

"It is shameful for the NATO country-Bulgaria-to kidnap two other NATO countries, Albania and North Macedonia, during a fierce war in the backyard of Europe." Prime Minister Edilama said when he arrived for the EU-Western Balkan Summit in Brussels. "It's not good to see the other 26 countries sitting still at the horrifying show of impotence."

The EU, the world's largest single market political economy club, has a block door. We want to reassure the Balkans, who have been waiting for years to admit that they remain open.

Russia's war in Ukraine has been added to the list of ambitious EU member states. After Russia invaded its neighbors, the Ukrainian, Moldova and Georgia governments rushed to apply for membership.

The EU Heads of State and Government meeting in Brussels for a two-day summit starting Thursday will consider whether Ukraine is a candidate for membership. This is the first step in the accession process.

The EU last approved its new member, Croatia, in 2013. Growing skepticism about the euro in member countries such as Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands has slowed the expansion process. ..

The eurozone debt crisis 10 years ago, the wave of immigration to Europe in 2015, and the referendum on Britain's withdrawal from the EU in 2016 are also part of the political unrest with the further expansion of the block. It was a cause.

Block countries at almost every step in the EU accession process, from the approval of candidates to the completion of elements of entry negotiations that can last for years or even decades. We need unanimous support from the government.

The European Council President Charles Michel, chair of the EU Summit, said the block promised to stimulate membership bids in the West Balkan countries.

"There is a very strong political will to revitalize the process," he said. "Western Balkans are our priority."

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated that point.

"The most important issue is that we all have a good opportunity to work together and the Western Balkans really become members of the European Union," Schortz said. "They worked so hard that it is our common task to achieve this."

But the EU puts Ukraine in the official membership pass by making it a candidate. As he plans to do so, Albania's Lama said the ongoing impasse affecting North Macedonia and Albania should serve as a warning to Ukrainians about future immigration hurdles.

"It's good to give a candidate status, but I hope the Ukrainians don't have many illusions about it," Rama said.


Follow AP's coverage of the Ukrainian War at