French President Emmanuel Macron, during a visit to Albania on Tuesday, said he wanted an EU enlargement process that was more “loving” than “bureaucratic” in his attempt to accelerate “the reunification of the Europe”.
Macron attacked Brussels’ “cold and bureaucratic machine”, saying the EU accession process should be more political and less technical, involving economic investments during accession negotiations and better engagement policy with the leaders of the candidate countries.
“We must help with proofs of love. I hope that in the coming months we Europeans will find a way to reunify (our continent),” he said alongside Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama at a press conference.
Macron’s serenade in Tirana came months after the French president signaled a French U-turn on enlargement, calling for EU growth and reform in the face of global instability.
Asked about France’s decision to oppose the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia in 2019, the French president said he was then a “spoiler” because the system “was not working properly”.
The Albanian prime minister also waxed lyrical about EU membership, but remained more matter-of-fact, telling journalists that joining the bloc would take time because “you can’t drive a car until you have got his driving license.