France, Netherlands resist Balkan accession talks – report
France and the Netherlands are holding out against European Union plans to allow membership talks with Albania and Macedonia over concerns the decision could further stoke anti-immigration sentiment, according to EU diplomats. Albania and Macedonia hope Europe ministers will agree the go-ahead at a meeting on Tuesday in Luxembourg, which EU leaders would support at a summit on Thursday. “Reforms are expected before we can open negotiations because we have a high level of requirements,” Reuters quoted a French diplomatic source as saying. France and the Netherlands sent other EU governments a paper in May saying “the lack of judicial reforms, endemic corruption and organized crime” were reasons why Albania and Macedonia were not ready for EU membership talks, the diplomatic sources say.