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Enlargement of the Western Balkans and Turkey

17.4.2018 – The European Commission adopted today its annual Enlargement Package, including seven individual reports, assessing the implementation of the European Union’s enlargement policy which is based on established criteria and fair and rigorous conditionality. Progress along the European path is an objective and merit-based process which depends on the concrete results achieved by each individual country, with the rule of law, justice and fundamental rights being an utmost priority. A credible enlargement perspective requires sustained efforts and irreversible reforms. The EU Enlargement is an investment in peace, security and stability in Europe: a prospect of EU membership has a powerful transformative effect on the partners in the process, embedding positive democratic, political, economic and societal change. The Commission recommended today that the Council decides that accession negotiations be opened with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania, in light of the progress achieved, maintaining and deepening the current reform momentum. More specifically, for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, delivering on the urgent reform priorities will be decisive for the country’s further progress. For Albania, progress will be crucial in the key field in the rule of law, in particular across all five key reform priorities, and continuing to deliver concrete and tangible results, in the re-evaluation of judges and prosecutors (vetting). To support this, the Commission would apply the reinforced approach for the negotiating chapters on judiciary and fundamental rights and justice, freedom and security. This step forward in a long process is in line with merit-based approach and strict conditionality, most recently confirmed by the Commission’s Western Balkans strategy. As stated in the Strategy for the Western Balkans, the EU itself needs to be ready for new members – once they have met the conditions – including from an institutional and financial perspective.    More: here

Source: EC Press

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