EC recommends commencing EU accession talks with Albania and Macedonia

  • Mihai Turcanu
  • 19.4.2018 06:02

In its yearly enlargement report published on 17 April, the European Commission (EC) recommended that the European Council begins the accession talks with Albania and Macedonia whom the report praises for the progress registered in areas like public administration, human rights, economic and free market development, and EU legislation.

The fact that the EC proposed FYR of Macedonia as a EU candidate indicates that EU expects the name dispute with Greece to be solved promptly. The EC's recommendation confirms that, after years of hesitation, EU has finally decided to secure its Southeastern flank and prevent Russia from gaining a foothold in the region by granting the Western Balkan countries solid perspectives of accession. Still, the way to achieve this is a subject of dispute among EU members, who, depending on their geographical location, economic or historical interests in the Balkans, or on their attitude towards Kosovo's statehood, differ on the pace and scope of this approach. Nevertheless, there are reasonable expectations that, by removing national barriers for goods and people, the accession into EU of Bosnia, Albania and Serbia will improve relations in the region in a similar fashion it soothed tensions between Hungary, on one side, and Romania or Slovakia on the other.

About author: Mihai Turcanu

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