Answer given by Mr Várhelyi on behalf of the European Commission
Across the region, corruption is prevalent in many areas and remains an issue of concern. The fight against corruption remains a priority for the Commission and is one of the key conditions for the EU accession process.
The Commission conducts its own independent assessments, reported in the annual reports. It uses a variety of sources for its assessments, including the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, which gives an insight into the perception of corruption in a specific country.
Results in the fight against corruption need time but also a strong political will on the side of the western Balkans as indicated in the annual reports. In the update of 2 March 2020, the Commission noted that, overall, Albania and North Macedonia have increased their efforts and delivered further tangible and sustainable results in the key areas identified in the Council conclusions of June 2018, including in the fight against corruption, for which the legal and institutional frameworks are largely established.
The Commission’s 2019 recommendations to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia remained valid. On 26 March 2020, the European Council endorsed the decision of the Council to open accession negotiations with both countries. Efforts to fight corruption need to continue. Accession negotiations allow for an even stricter monitoring and enhanced focus on enforcement and results in this area.
-   SWD(2020) 46 final and SWD(2020) 47 final
 COM(2019) 260 final