MEPs urged member states to start EU accession negotiations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia before July in a resolution on the country's 2012 progress report on Thursday 23 May. However, in another resolution they expressed regret that Bosnia and Herzegovina was still far from meeting the necessary conditions for a prospective membership and that it was falling behind other countries in the region.
Both the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina were identified as potential candidates for EU membership in June 2003, but only the former was granted candidate status in 2005.
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
The country's road to EU membership has been hampered by the ongoing conflict over its name. In a debate on 22 May, Richard Howitt, who wrote the recommendation, called for progress on the issue. The British member of the S&D group said: "Indeed I fear it is only progress on the name issue, which can now keep hopes alive in June."
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The resolution on the country's 2012 progress report calls for a substantial constitutional reform. Doris Pack, who wrote the recommendation, said the conditions necessary for launching the next step of the process were far from being met and this prevented further approach towards the EU. The German member of the EPP group added: "The incapacity of politicians with different ethnic backgrounds to join forces to the benefit of their citizens is damaging the whole country."