Statement on Albania and North Macedonia accession to the EU

Statement on Albania and North Macedonia accession to the EU

We regret the decision of the European Council not to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia and express our solidarity with workers and their trade unions from these counties. They face enormous challenges of decent work deficits, non-respect of the law, low wages, high levels of informal work, as well as systematic violation of fundamental workers’ rights and freedoms.

The opening of negotiations could have prompted these countries to address the challenges as well as to reaffirm the undeniable role of the social partners in building sustainable, inclusive, and democratic societies.

We call on the leaders of North Macedonia and Albania to respect fundamental workers’ rights in line with their international obligations, to ensure the rule of law and to promote the European Social Model.

We call on the leaders of the European Union to start membership negotiations, but also to make sure that workers’ rights are duly addressed and that trade unions are an integral part of that process.

We call on the incoming European Commission to reshape the EU enlargement policy, by paying more attention to social rights and protection, and by ensuring full involvement of trade unions through social dialogue both at European level and in the countries concerned.