Macedonia might be first EU candidate to meet accession criteria

  • Dominika Jandová
  • 11.11.2017 11:11

Macedonia could be the only state to meet the practical, legal and technical criteria for joining the EU before 2023. Other states seeking EU membership, such as Albania or Bosnia and Herzegovina, may not even be able to implement EU law before 2050. This is what a study by Tina Freyburg and Tobias Böhmelt, published on 6 November on EurActiv and in German newspaper Tagesspiegel, suggests.

Serbia and Turkey could nationally implement European law by the mid-2030s. In the case of Turkey, the process is furthermore undermined by member states calling for the suspension or complete end of Turkey's accession process. Political problems that could block entry, such as political instability in Turkey, tensions in Bosnia, disputes between Greece and Macedonia or the use of veto by the member states are, however, excluded from this study. The study also stressed that enlargement is driven by the candidate country's aspirations and progress rather than an "expansive" Brussels policy, although the EU's interest has turned towards Balkan countries in recent months. The study's second frontrunner is Montenegro, whose level, according to Freyburg, may be comparable to Macedonia in the future but some obstacles, such as the border dispute with Kosovo, still persist.

About author: Dominika Jandová

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