2018 Communication on EU enlargement policy

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details (2018) 450 final (17.04.18)
Publication Date 17/04/2018
Content Type

Further information:

The European Commission adopted on 17 April 2018 its annual Enlargement Package, including seven individual reports, assessing the implementation of the European Union's enlargement policy which is based on established criteria and rigorous conditionality. For the first time together with the Enlargement Package, the Commission also published its annual assessments of the Economic Reform Programmes for the Western Balkans and Turkey.

The Commission recommended the adoption of a Council Decision on the opening of accession negotiations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM or FYR Macedonia) and Albania, in light of the progress achieved, maintaining and deepening the current reform momentum. Regarding Turkey, while the Commission recognises the need for swight and proportionate action in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in July 2016, it has also been considered that the country has been significantly moving away from the European Union, in particular in the areas of the rule of law and fundamental rights and through the weakening of effective checks and balances in the political system.

Background information:

The Communication takes stock of progress in the implementation of enlargement policy by the end of January 2018 and encourages the countries concerned to keep up their modernisation through political and economic reforms, in line with the accession criteria.

The existing enlargement agenda covers the partners of the Western Balkans and Turkey. Accession negotiations were opened with candidate countries Montenegro (2012), Serbia (2014), Turkey (2005). The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia became a candidate country in 2005 and Albania obtained candidate status in 2014. Bosnia and Herzegovina (application to join the EU submitted in February 2016) and Kosovo (Stabilisation and Association Agreement entered into force in April 2016) were seen as potential candidates.

In February 2018, the European Commission reaffirmed the prospect of EU membership for the Western Balkans in its Communication on 'A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans'. Regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations were highlighted as essential for progress on the respective European paths.

Source Link https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/HIS/?uri=COM:2018:450:FIN
Related Link(s)
European Commission [Factsheet]: Key findings of the 2018 Report on Montenegro http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-18-3409_en.htm
European Commission [Factsheet]: Key findings of the 2018 Report on Bosnia and Herzegovina http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-18-3408_en.htm
European Commission: Press Release, 17.04.18: Commission publishes reports on the Western Balkans partners and Turkey http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-3342_en.htm
European Commission [Factsheet]: Key findings of the 2018 Report on Turkey http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-18-3407_en.htm
European Commission [Factsheet]: Key findings of the 2018 Report on Serbia http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-18-3406_en.htm
European Commission [Factsheet]: Key findings of the 2018 Report on Kosovo http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-18-3404_en.htm
European Commission [Factsheet]: Key findings of the 2018 Report on Albania http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-18-3403_en.htm
European Commission [Factsheet]: Key findings of the 2018 Report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-18-3405_en.htm
Deutsche Welle [Interview]: '2025 is ambitious for Western Balkans to join EU' http://p.dw.com/p/2wC0X
EurActiv, 17.04.18: Commission proposes starting EU talks with Albania, Macedonia https://www.euractiv.com/section/enlargement/news/commission-proposes-starting-eu-talks-with-albania-macedonia/
EUObserver, 16.04.18: EU enlargement: Albania advances, Turkey backslides https://euobserver.com/enlargement/141605
Euronews, 20.04.18: Explained: the Balkan battle to be the EU's newest member http://www.euronews.com/2018/04/20/explained-the-balkan-battle-to-be-the-eu-s-newest-member
B92, 20.04.18: Turkey accuses EU of 'favoring Balkan candidates' https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2018&mm=04&dd=20&nav_id=103989
Politico, 14.04.18: Commission says Turkey made ‘big steps away’ from EU: Report https://www.politico.eu/article/recep-tayyip-erdogan-turkey-commission-says-turkey-made-big-steps-away-from-eu-report/
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)150: Montenegro 2018 Report https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=SWD:2018:150:FIN
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)151: Albania 2018 Report https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=SWD:2018:151:FIN
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)152: Serbia 2018 Report https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=SWD:2018:152:FIN
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)153: Turkey 2018 Report https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=SWD:2018:153:FIN
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)154: Macedonia 2018 Report https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=SWD:2018:154:FIN
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)155: Bosnia and Herzegovina 2018 Report https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=SWD:2018:155:FIN
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)156: Kosovo 2018 Report https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=SWD:2018:156:FIN
LSE European Institute: EuroppBlog, 24.04.18: What the European Commission’s 2018 country reports say about national parliaments in the Western Balkans http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2018/04/24/what-the-european-commissions-2018-country-reports-say-about-national-parliaments-in-the-western-balkans/

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