(06 February 2018) – The European Commission adopted today a strategy and announced six ‘flagship initiatives’ for the Western Balkans.
The strategy spells out the priorities and areas of joint reinforced cooperation, addressing the specific challenges the Western Balkans face, in particular the need for fundamental reforms and good neighbourly relations.
The Commission also announced six ‘flagship initiatives’ to strengthen the rule of law, reinforced cooperation on security and migration through joint investigating teams and the European Border and coast guard, expanding the EU Energy Union to the Western Balkans or lowering roaming charges and rolling out broadband in the region.
The strategy explains the steps that need to be taken by Montenegro and Serbia (the only two countries with which accession talks are already under way) to complete the accession process “in a 2025 perspective.”
Albania and Macedonia “are making significant progress on their European path” and the Commission is ready to prepare recommendations to open accession negotiations, on the basis of fulfilled conditions.
“With sustained effort and engagement”, Bosnia and Herzegovina “could become a candidate for accession.” Kosovo has “an opportunity (…) to advance on its European path once objective circumstances allow.”