Balkan countries move closer to the EU

  • Jonáš Vlk
  • 18.12.2017 16:28

The prospect of a further eastern enlargement of the European Union looks brighter, as recent events suggest. The most important example is the opening of new chapters in the accession talks with Montenegro and Serbia on Monday 11 December. The outlook is also optimistic in Moldova, where, according to a recent survey, 60 % of citizens would welcome the country's accession to the EU. Last week, EU leaders also recommended opening accession talks with Macedonia.

At present, another country besides Macedonia which has gone far in the EU accession process is Montenegro with 30 of the 35 requested chapters opened. Serbia, which began its accession negotiations only two years later, in 2014, currently has 12 chapters opened. However, its situation is slightly more problematic, with the normalisation of relations with Kosovo being particularly important. Though, the tensions between the two countries recently escalated. Still, even despite the optimistic outlook, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker stated that there will be no EU enlargement during his term, which ends in 2019. 

About author: Jonáš Vlk

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