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The European Political Community (EPC) is a new 'platform for political coordination' (European Council) initially proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron. The Presidents of the European Council, Charles Michel, and European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, have both also supported such a proposal. The inaugural meeting of the EPC was held in Prague on 6 October. The 'EU+ summit' was hosted by the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU and attended by 43 national delegations from the EU- ...

New EU strategy for enlargement

Em síntese 16-11-2022

Although European integration of the Western Balkans and Türkiye is still at a standstill, the war in Ukraine and the challenging geopolitical environment have lent new impetus to the enlargement process, in an attempt to secure its continuity, consistency, credibility and impact. In June 2022, EU leaders endorsed the 'European perspective' of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. The Western Balkan countries' prospect of a European future had meanwhile already been endorsed at summits in Thessaloniki (in ...

This paper has been produced by the Ex-post Evaluation Unit of the Directorate for Impact Assessment and European Added Value, within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament, as a regional evaluation in parallel to the EPRS 2022 Peace and Security Outlook. It has been drafted as a contribution to the Normandy World Peace Forum taking place in September 2022. The paper provides the background to EU relations with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine ...

2021 Report on Serbia

Em síntese 29-06-2022

Serbia, a country with a population of 6.9 million, has been advancing towards EU accession since 2012, when it received candidate country status. Despite some progress, Serbia faces three major issues: improving internal political dialogue, reaching a comprehensive legally binding normalisation agreement with Kosovo* and ensuring better alignment with EU foreign policy. The Parliament's position on the European Commission's 2021 annual report on Serbia is expected to be voted in plenary in July ...

2021 Report on Bosnia and Herzegovina

Em síntese 29-06-2022

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), with a population of 3.8 million, became independent from the former Yugoslavia on 3 March 1992, following a referendum that was boycotted by ethnic Serbs. Bosnia and Herzegovina was offered an EU membership perspective during the EU-Western Balkans summit in Thessaloniki (2003), subsequently restated in Sofia (2018), Zagreb (2020), Brdo (2021) and, most recently, Brussels (2022). The Parliament is expected to vote on the European Commission's 2021 annual report on BiH ...

The June 2022 European Council meeting marked a potentially historic moment: EU leaders granted Ukraine and Moldova candidate status and also confirmed Georgia's European perspective. Although highly anticipated, this major step was neither obvious nor uncontroversial, as for the first time it concerned a country still at war, generating intense discussions both within the European Council and with partner countries. On Ukraine, EU leaders took stock of the situation in the country, confirmed their ...

The six Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo,* Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) are all countries with substantial economic catch-up potential. The EU-led Berlin Process estimated an annual investment need of some €7.7 billion, which would provide the region with an additional 1 % GDP growth and a positive employment effect of up to 200 000 people. However, quality investments are scarce, or often attached to political, environmental and social conditionalities ...

2021 Report on Montenegro

Em síntese 20-06-2022

Montenegro applied for EU membership in 2008, and accession negotiations began in June 2012. The country has opened all 33 negotiation chapters, three of which have been provisionally closed. Public opinion surveys show that 75 % of Montenegrins are in favour of joining the EU. Parliament is expected to debate the European Commission's 2021 annual report on Montenegro during its June II plenary session.

The countries in the Western Balkans are traditionally a focus of Russian interests. The Russian Federation has strong historical ties with the Western Balkans and holds a relative soft-power attraction for them, yet its influence and economic impact in the region are declining, as investment and aid by the EU-27 and other players, such as China, have been dwarfing Russian investment. This ‘At a glance’ note has been produced at the request of a member of the European Committee of the Regions, in ...

Decentralisation, and implementation of the principle of subsidiarity, are at the heart of both EU accession negotiations with the Western Balkan countries and their accession-related reforms. As the region's six countries differ in population size, territory and history, their decentralisation models differ from each other as well. The European Commission and the European Parliament are closely monitoring these countries' overall progress in multi-level governance and in the implementation of the ...