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EU enlargement: progress and challenges

Oct 8, 2014 | News

(08 October 2014) – In a set of annual reports adopted today, the European Commission has assessed the progress made over the past year by the countries wishing to join the EU in the Western Balkans and by Turkey, and the challenges ahead.

The enlargement strategy adopted today confirms the approach based on fundamentals – the rule of law, economic governance and public administration reform.

  • Montenegro has taken further steps in accession negotiations. Twelve chapters have been opened so far, of which two provisionally closed.
  • The opening of accession negotiations is a turning point in the EU’s relations with Serbia.
  • The EU accession process with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is at an impasse.
  • Albania was granted candidate status in June as recognition for its reform efforts and progress made in meeting the required conditionality.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina remains at a standstill on its European integration path.
  • The initialling of a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo in July is a major milestone in EU-Kosovo relations.
  • Implementation of certain reform commitments by Turkey has continued, such as the 2013 democratisation package, and steps have been taken towards a settlement of the Kurdish issue. However, there have also been grounds for serious concerns regarding the independence of the judiciary and the protection of fundamental freedoms.

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