EU integration: progress reports for Albania, Serbia, Kosovo, Iceland
Foreign affairs MEPs called on Thursday on the Council to grant Albania EU candidate status without undue delay. In separate resolutions, they also assessed last year’s progress by Serbia, Kosovo and Iceland. While stressing their commitment to the pursuit of EU enlargement, MEPs underlined the need for greater involvement of civil society in these countries in the European integration process.
Albania – candidate status without delay
The Council should acknowledge the progress made by Albania by granting it candidate status without undue delay, MEPs underlined.
They also called on all political actors in the country to engage in constructive dialogue between themselves and stressed that the preparations for EU integration should have broad political and public support. The fight against corruption at all levels must get further political backing, MEPs stressed, and they called for more efforts to strengthen the judiciary, the public administration and the fight against organised crime.
The resolution drafted by Nikola Vuljanić (GUE/NGL, HR) was passed by 49 votes to 0, with 1 abstention.
Serbia – start accession talks in December
MEPs welcome the European Council’s decision in June to launch accession talks with Belgrade. They insist however that the EU-Serbia intergovernmental conference should take place in December this year. Serbia should keep up with the reforms which are the key indicator of a successful integration process, MEPs stress.
They also welcome the historic April agreement with Kosovo and look forward to its implementation in good faith. They appreciate Serbia’s constructive approach to relations with its neighbours.
The resolution drafted by Jelko Kacin (ALDE, SI) was passed by 47 votes to 0, with 0 abstentions.
Kosovo – local elections huge step forward for democracy
The first ever country-wide local elections in Kosovo, held in November and December this year, are a huge step forward for democracy in Kosovo, say MEPs.. The April agreement with Serbia reinforces the Kosovo authorities’ responsibility to bring forward reforms needed on the path of European integration, they say.
MEPs also underline the key role of EULEX, the EU's rule of law mission in Kosovo, in the consolidation of the rule of law in its institutions and stress that any transfer of EULEX responsibilities must be gradual and based on real progress and should involve Kosovo civil society.
The resolution drafted by Ulrike Lunacek (Greens/EFA, AT) was passed by 39 votes to 3, with 4 abstentions.
Iceland – further decisions awaited
MEPs note the decision of the Icelandic government to put the accession process on hold and not to wait for the end of the accession talks before holding a referendum on EU accession. They now await further decisions on the way ahead, including a decision on whether to hold a referendum on the continuation of accession talks.
The resolution drafted by Cristian Dan Preda (EPP, RO) was passed by 44 votes to 0, with 0 abstentions.
The full House is set to vote on the resolution on Albania when it meets in Strasbourg next week (9-12 December). The other resolutions will be tabled at the January 2014 session (13-16 January 2014).
In the chair: Elmar Brok (EPP, DE)