EU Commission recommends opening accession talks with Albania, Macedonia

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 17, 2018

"A step forward today for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania is a step forward for the entire Western Balkans region", said European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini in the statement.

A step forward today for Macedonia and Albania is a step forward for the entire Western Balkans region, Mogherini said in a statement following the adoption of the European Commission's annual enlargement package. They called for new togetherness between EU and the Balkans based on a four-pronged strategy: more vigorous EU engagement with the Balkans; more systematic efforts to promote a culture of learning and training through all levels of education in order to advance the region's human capital; an honest and lasting regional rapprochement and a tailor-made vision of closer cooperation in various EU policy areas.

Enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn said that European Union enlargement policy continues to be a key engine driving reforms in the Western Balkans.

"Albanians deserve recognition for the efforts that they've made for accession".

Albania's progress will be crucial in key fields such as 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, according to the statement.

The Commission also said urgent reform priorities will be decisive for Macedonia's further progress.

The European Commission said on April 17 that it was recommending that the Council of the EU decides to open accession negotiations with Macedonia and Albania, given the progress made by the two countries in pursuing reforms. Western Balkans is part of Europe and it will be part of the future of the EU.

The European Council granted the status of candidate country for EU membership to Albania and Macedonia in 2014 and 2005, respectively.

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