April 18, 2018

European Commission recommends membership talks with Albania and Macedonia

The European Commission recommends to open talks with Albania and Macedonia about joining the bloc. 

It was stated by Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. 

“Today, the Commission recommends that the Council decides to open accession negotiations with Albania and with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Western Balkans are Europe and will be part of the European Union’s future, of a stronger, stable and united European Union. And it is a matter of shared interest and shared responsibility with the countries of the region, for the benefit of all our citizens,” Ms. Mogherini said. 

She noted that in order to make these membership prospects real, the countries must recognize the priority of the reforms in “the fundamental areas of the rule of law, human rights, democratic institutions and public administration reform, as well as on economic development and competitiveness - in all areas where structural shortcomings are still identified.” 

It should be noted that among the Balkan countries, the negotiations are already held with Serbia (since 2014) and Montenegro (since 2012). 

Bosnia and Herzegovina is waiting for opinion on its application since February 2016. 

It is known that on February 6, the European Commission approved the long-awaited Western Balkans Strategy aimed at boosting the EU integration and ‘homework’ that must be done by six countries to join the bloc. 

The Strategy says that by 2025, “the future of the Union is not bound to be at 27. It can be at more than 27”, but the “progress along the European path is an objective and merit-based process which depends on the concrete results achieved by each individual country.”