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North Macedonia: A step closer to EU membership

17-10-2019

On 15 October 2019, the General Affairs Council discussed the issue of enlargement as regards Albania and North Macedonia without reaching unanimity (opposition of one EU Member State) on the decision to open EU accession negotiations with these countries. The Council will return to the issue after the European Council meeting on 17 18 October. In line with the 2018 western Balkans strategy, which aimed to inject new momentum into the enlargement process, Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission ...

On 15 October 2019, the General Affairs Council discussed the issue of enlargement as regards Albania and North Macedonia without reaching unanimity (opposition of one EU Member State) on the decision to open EU accession negotiations with these countries. The Council will return to the issue after the European Council meeting on 17 18 October. In line with the 2018 western Balkans strategy, which aimed to inject new momentum into the enlargement process, Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission President-elect, and Josep Borrell, incoming High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Vice-President-designate of the Commission (HR/VP), have declared the western Balkans to be their priority.

Externe auteur

Staníček, Branislav;

Albania: On the threshold of EU membership

16-10-2019

The October 2019 European Council meeting will discuss Albania and North Macedonia. The 2018 western Balkans strategy aimed at injecting new momentum for EU enlargement, consequently European Commission President-designate Ursula von der Leyen, and High Representative and Vice-President-designate Josep Borrell, have declared that the EU would prioritise enlargement talks with the western Balkans. In the face of growing frustration and 'enlargement fatigue', a decision to open negotiations would be ...

The October 2019 European Council meeting will discuss Albania and North Macedonia. The 2018 western Balkans strategy aimed at injecting new momentum for EU enlargement, consequently European Commission President-designate Ursula von der Leyen, and High Representative and Vice-President-designate Josep Borrell, have declared that the EU would prioritise enlargement talks with the western Balkans. In the face of growing frustration and 'enlargement fatigue', a decision to open negotiations would be a strong signal to the region.

FYR Macedonia: 2018 country report

27-11-2018

During its November II 2018 plenary session, the European Parliament is expected to debate a resolution on the European Commission’s 2018 enlargement report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYR Macedonia). The progress report acknowledges significant progress and a political will to advance the EU agenda.

During its November II 2018 plenary session, the European Parliament is expected to debate a resolution on the European Commission’s 2018 enlargement report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYR Macedonia). The progress report acknowledges significant progress and a political will to advance the EU agenda.

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, October I 2018

05-10-2018

The highlight of the October I plenary session was the debate on the preparation of the European Council meeting on 18 and 19 October 2018. The series of debates on the Future of Europe continued, this time with the Prime Minister of Estonia, Jüri Ratas. Montenegro's President, Milo Đukanović, also addressed Parliament in a formal sitting. Parliament adopted, inter alia, legislative proposals on: audiovisual media services; VAT rules; strengthening the EU Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation ( ...

The highlight of the October I plenary session was the debate on the preparation of the European Council meeting on 18 and 19 October 2018. The series of debates on the Future of Europe continued, this time with the Prime Minister of Estonia, Jüri Ratas. Montenegro's President, Milo Đukanović, also addressed Parliament in a formal sitting. Parliament adopted, inter alia, legislative proposals on: audiovisual media services; VAT rules; strengthening the EU Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust); mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation of criminal assets; the free flow of non-personal data within the EU; health technology assessment; and emission performance standards for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. Parliament also voted its public procurement package, as well as a report on an amending budget regarding changes to pre-accession aid to Turkey.

Peace and Security in 2018: An evaluation of EU peacebuilding in the Western Balkans

22-05-2018

This first thematic study of the Peace and Security series focuses on European Union (EU) peacebuilding efforts in the Western Balkans. The series will make an annual evaluation of EU performance in the field of peace and security in a specific geographical region. Examining EU engagement in the Western Balkans, the study assesses the extent to which the Union has been able to transform and strengthen the region's governance, economy and resilience. The study is organised around three key inter-connected ...

This first thematic study of the Peace and Security series focuses on European Union (EU) peacebuilding efforts in the Western Balkans. The series will make an annual evaluation of EU performance in the field of peace and security in a specific geographical region. Examining EU engagement in the Western Balkans, the study assesses the extent to which the Union has been able to transform and strengthen the region's governance, economy and resilience. The study is organised around three key inter-connected (and at times overlapping) phases in EU post-conflict peacebuilding − stabilisation, state-building and EU enlargement − to explain the strengths, weaknesses and limits of EU engagement. It ends with an assessment of the new EU strategy for the Western Balkans and analyses the potential to remedy past deficiencies and help move the region towards genuine, inclusive and sustainable peace. A parallel study, published separately, provides an overview of current EU action on peace and security and of the outlook for the future. The studies have been drafted with a view to their presentation at the Normandy World Peace Forum, in June 2018.

Western Balkans [What Think Tanks are thinking]

04-05-2018

The European Union’s planned enlargement into the Western Balkans has recently drawn increased attention. In February 2018, the European Commission released its new enlargement strategy, giving a credible accession perspective to the region. The latest impetus came last month, when the Commission proposed opening entry talks with Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Presenting the 2018 Communication on the EU enlargement policy to the European Parliament, Commission President Jean-Claude ...

The European Union’s planned enlargement into the Western Balkans has recently drawn increased attention. In February 2018, the European Commission released its new enlargement strategy, giving a credible accession perspective to the region. The latest impetus came last month, when the Commission proposed opening entry talks with Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Presenting the 2018 Communication on the EU enlargement policy to the European Parliament, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that the EU needed to eventually accept new members from the Western Balkans to avoid the risk of a new war in the region. Many EU Member States insist that before enlarging, the EU must implement internal reforms. Future members must meet many tough entry criteria. From the Western Balkans, only Croatia has so far joined the EU, in 2013. Accession talks continue with Montenegro and Serbia. Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are official membership candidates, while Bosnia and Herzegovina remains a potential candidate country, along with Kosovo. This note offers links to reports and commentaries from some major international think-tanks and research institutes on EU enlargement and Western Balkans. More reports on the topic can be found in a previous edition of ‘What Think Tanks are thinking’, published in October 2017.

FYR Macedonia: Economic indicators and trade with EU

02-05-2018

The first EU-Western Balkans Summit in a decade and a half takes place in Sofia in May 2018, under the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council. That is just one indicator of the EU's renewed engagement with the six countries of the region, with the Commission's February 2018 enlargement strategy reaffirming their perspective of joining the Union. This infographic, one of a series produced by EPRS in cooperation with Globalstat, offers an overview of the main economic and trade data – in particular on ...

The first EU-Western Balkans Summit in a decade and a half takes place in Sofia in May 2018, under the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council. That is just one indicator of the EU's renewed engagement with the six countries of the region, with the Commission's February 2018 enlargement strategy reaffirming their perspective of joining the Union. This infographic, one of a series produced by EPRS in cooperation with Globalstat, offers an overview of the main economic and trade data – in particular on trade with the EU – of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as information on EU grants and loans to the country.

Media freedom trends 2017: Western Balkans

03-05-2017

Media freedom, a core EU value and a cornerstone of democracy, is a priority reform area in the Western Balkans' EU accession agenda. Yet, despite a certain level of preparedness and a broadly developed legal framework, aspirant countries keep facing systemic shortcomings that require long-term sustained efforts. These efforts have stalled in recent years, resulting in a 'no progress' situation.

Media freedom, a core EU value and a cornerstone of democracy, is a priority reform area in the Western Balkans' EU accession agenda. Yet, despite a certain level of preparedness and a broadly developed legal framework, aspirant countries keep facing systemic shortcomings that require long-term sustained efforts. These efforts have stalled in recent years, resulting in a 'no progress' situation.

FYR Macedonia: 2016 report

30-03-2017

In April 2017, the European Parliament is due to debate a resolution on the European Commission's 2016 enlargement report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The report acknowledges that during a politically turbulent 2016, the country failed to progress in key EU-related reform areas and even backtracked in some. Following the December 2016 elections, political uncertainty remains and the EU is urging prompt formation of a new government, a process currently blocked.

In April 2017, the European Parliament is due to debate a resolution on the European Commission's 2016 enlargement report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The report acknowledges that during a politically turbulent 2016, the country failed to progress in key EU-related reform areas and even backtracked in some. Following the December 2016 elections, political uncertainty remains and the EU is urging prompt formation of a new government, a process currently blocked.

The Western Balkans and the EU [What Think Tanks are thinking]

17-03-2017

European Union heads of state and government reiterated support for the European perspective of the Western Balkans at their meeting on 9 March, and underlined that the situation in the region was fragile due to internal and external challenges. Despite relatively good economic growth prospects, the Western Balkans' reform progress has been slow, rule of law weak, and corruption persistent. Many Western and local politicians are also concerned about the increasingly prominent role of external players ...

European Union heads of state and government reiterated support for the European perspective of the Western Balkans at their meeting on 9 March, and underlined that the situation in the region was fragile due to internal and external challenges. Despite relatively good economic growth prospects, the Western Balkans' reform progress has been slow, rule of law weak, and corruption persistent. Many Western and local politicians are also concerned about the increasingly prominent role of external players in the region, mainly Russia, but also China, Turkey and the Gulf states. From the Western Balkans, only Croatia has so far joined the EU, in 2013. Accession talks continue with Montenegro and Serbia. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania are official candidates, with Albania hoping to formally open negotiations soon. Bosnia and Herzegovina formally applied for EU membership in 2016, but along with Kosovo, it has a potential candidate status at present. This note offers links to a series of recent studies from major international think tanks and research institutes on problems faced by the Western Balkans.

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