Western Balkans: European Parliament takes stock of 2018 progress

Nimits USA

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe Matthew Nimetz, Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for the talks between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


MEPs assessed the progress made in Albania, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on their path towards possible EU accession on Thursday.

Three resolutions evaluating the current state of play were adopted by the full House.

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

MEPs praise the country’s strong commitment to fully implementing the 2015 Pržino Agreement and the Urgent Reform priorities, which has led to intensified efforts on EU reform.

They also call on the national authorities to intensify the fight against money laundering and conflicts of interest, to better shield the judiciary from political interference and address remaining rule of law problems, which continue to pose serious challenges.The resolution was approved by 470 votes to 116, with 46 abstentions.

Despite the 30 September consultative referendum (which sought public support to change the country’s name to the Republic of North Macedonia) falling short of the turnout required, MEPs nevertheless welcome the decision by the parliament in Skopje to start the constitutional process of implementing the 17 June Prespa agreement between the country and Greece which opens the door to EU and NATO accession negotiations.This agreement sends a much-needed positive signal for stability and reconciliation in the whole Western Balkans region, say MEPs.

They also call on the Hungarian authorities to extradite Macedonian ex-Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski to his home country, who, having been convicted there of abuse of power and sentenced to prison, subsequently fled abroad.

EP rapporteur on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Ivo Vajgl (ALDE, SI) said: “Once all conditions are fulfilled, Macedonia’s membership in the EU will ensure a promising future for its current and future generations. The EU will also need to deliver on its own promises to a country that has been left in the waiting room for too long and can provide a substantial contribution to the stability, security and progress of South Eastern Europe as a whole”.

Albania

In a resolution adopted by 459 votes to 112, with 62 abstentions, MEPs welcome Albania’s steady progress on EU-related reforms and the steps taken to boost the independence and professionalism of the country’s judiciary.MEPs commended the significant improvements made by Albania to strengthen its legal and institutional framework as well as the progress achieved in the fight against organised crime. However, they remain concerned over the continued high level of corruption the slow pace and inefficiency of the justice system and the fact that rule-of-law deficiencies and cumbersome regulatory procedures continue to deter investment in the country.

Nevertheless, the resolutionendorses the path set out by the Council to open EU accession negotiations with Albania in June 2019, provided that the country meets all necessary conditions.

EP rapporteur on Albania Knut Fleckenstein (S&D, DE) said: “After 4 years of being recognised as an EU candidate country, it is about time for the EU to open accession negotiations with Albania. The country has made good progress in justice reform with the vetting process, which was one of the key demands. The fight against corruption is ongoing and with a measure of success. The vote on the report in the plenary today recognises their efforts. It is also a call on the Council and the member states to finally agree on opening accession negotiations with Albania in the next year”.

Montenegro

While Montenegro is making good progress overall in the EU integration process, MEPs call on the country’s political leadership to prioritise tackling problems with the rule of law, media freedom, corruption, money laundering, organised crime and its associated violence.
The resolution, approved by 484 votes to 80 with 63 abstentions, underlines Montenegro’s efforts for constructive regional cooperation and good bilateral neighbourly relations. MEPs also welcome the ratification of the State Border Agreement between Montenegro and Kosovo, while calling for outstanding border disputes with other neighbouring countries to be resolved quickly.

The text finally recalls the strategic importance of Montenegro’s NATO accession on 5 June 2017 in ensuring stability and peace in the Western Balkans. MEPs share the European Commission’s assessment that, with strong political will and sustained progress, Montenegro could potentially be ready for EU membership by 2025.

EP rapporteur on Montenegro Charles Tannock (ECR, UK) said: “Today’s report highlights Montenegro’s strong overall progress and is positive about its general direction of travel. With such achievements, however, come greater responsibilities. In this regard, the Parliament has clearly laid out its concerns about media freedom in the country, and the need to intensify the fight against corruption and organised crime. This is my last report as Montenegro rapporteur, but I wish Montenegro well in the future and have no doubts about its successful eventual path to EU membership.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How the inventor of the internet plans to make it safe and accessible for everyone

External action: more funds for human rights, development and peace

China invites the EU to a joint endeavor for free trade and order in the world

EP President praises Nobel Peace Prize award to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad

Talent is worldwide. Opportunity is not. How can we redistribute it?

Prosecution of Paraguay judges over peasant ‘massacre’ ruling could undermine rule of law: UN expert

The EU pollution rights trading system frozen

Amsterdam has a bubble barrier to catch canal plastic

EU Parliament: A catastrophic crisis management by European leaders

Who and why want the EU-US trade agreement here and now

Cédric in India

Brexit talks stalled at launch; issues with European Court’s authority in Britain

5 amazing people fighting to save the oceans

MEPs propose measures to combat mobbing and sexual harassment

How a more integrated approach could help to end energy poverty

UN chief welcomes new Government in Lebanon, after eight-month impasse

Why Africa must be ready to take the quantum leap

7 ways for businesses to capture the youth dividend

Alarming number of women mistreated during childbirth, new UN health agency figures show

Yemen war: UN-backed talks to silence the guns due to begin in Stockholm

Ocean life faces ‘onslaught of threats’ from human activity, but tools exist to save it

Why Eurozone urgently needs the ECB to print and distribute at least €500 billion

115 rejections and no pay. What it really takes to be an entrepreneur

The UK to split if May’s hard or no-deal Brexit is pursued

European car industry: The Germans want it all

Idea of ‘homogenous’ Polish culture is a myth: UN human rights expert

EU and African leaders to jointly tackle the migration crisis across the Mediterranean

Building a stronger Europe: new initiatives to further boost role of youth, education and culture policies

Deadly swine fever threatens Asia, UN agriculture agency warns, urging regional collaboration

Now doctors can manipulate genetics to modify babies, is it ethical?

Migration crisis will keep deteriorating as common EU political will is simply not there

UNIDO promotes post-harvest excellence for mangoes in the Mekong River Delta of Viet Nam

Why is the World Health Organisation so much needed?

‘Path to peace’ on Korean Peninsula only possible through diplomacy and full denuclearization: US tells Security Council

Multilateralism more vital than ever, as World War centenary looms: Security Council

EU helps tackle air pollution in Kosovo with €76.4 million

European Junior Enterprise Network – Ready to take the Step Into the Future?

YO!Fest back in Strasbourg for the 2nd edition of the European Youth Event – 20-21 May 2016

Don’t let smoking steal life’s breathtaking moments, urges UN health agency

Africa must ‘value youth’ in the drive towards lasting peace, young envoy tells Security Council

Parliamentary bid to democratize Myanmar constitution a ‘positive development’ says UN rights expert

After globalization what? Europe’s long, straining shake-up post Davos wreckage

The five stages of the Chief Digital Officer – and why they often fail

Bram in Colombia

Labels for tyres: deal for greener and safer road transport

EU Budget: InvestEU Programme to support jobs, growth and innovation in Europe

EU shapes its ambitious strategy on India

EU on track to end use of chemicals harming the ozone layer

What the future holds for the EU – China relations?

Climate change: Direct and indirect impacts on health

EU Parliament shows its teeth in view of 2014 elections

Only one in five countries has a healthcare strategy to deal with climate change

CHINA: five letters that could mean…

An economist explains why women are paid less

2018 Golden Pen of Freedom Awarded to Maria Ressa of the Philippines

Brexiteer May gets lip-service from Trump and Turkish promises from Erdogan

Climate change brings a host of other risks for businesses

Oslo leads the way in ‘Breathe Life’ campaign for cleaner cities in climate change era

These are the places with the most climate change deniers

The world is facing more disasters. This is how data can help us reduce that risk

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s