EU enlargement: new Western Balkans strategy  

The EU’s new Western Balkans strategy will be unveiled by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and debated by MEPs on Tuesday.

The Western Balkans are set to dominate the EU’s foreign policy agenda in 2018, as the region is one of Bulgaria's EU Council Presidency priorities. Efforts to integrate the region into the EU are also traditionally supported by the European Parliament, which nonetheless highlights shortcomings in the rule of law, fundamental rights or the fight against corruption there.

After revealing its Western Balkans strategy on 6 February, the EU Commission is scheduled to present its regular EU enlargement reports in April.  These take stock of progress made by countries wishing to join the EU, and are scrutinised in European Parliament resolutions voted in the course of the year. 

Serbia and Montenegro are closest to joining the EU, as membership talks are in full swing, while the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania are still waiting for negotiations to start. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are further behind, but have potential candidate status.

Debate: Tuesday, 6 February

Procedure: Statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

#Western Balkans #EUenlargement @FedericaMog