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

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

UN agencies call for more resettlement and end to detention of asylum seekers in Libya

6th Edition of India m2m + iot Forum to open its door on 14th January, in association with The European Sting

Top UN political official updates Security Council on Iran nuclear deal

Mozambique cyclones a ‘wake-up call’ to boost resistance: UN weather agency

MEPs and European Youth Forum call on EU to Invest in Youth

Ebola Outbreak in Democratic Republic Congo is ‘largely contained’: WHO

Security Council urges countries to factor child protection into conflict prevention efforts

“Asia-Pacific takes stock of ambitious development targets”, written by the Heads of UNFPA and ESCAP

‘We are nowhere closer’ to Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, than a year ago, Security Council hears

How populist and xenophobic movements in the EU tear apart European businesses and startups

Eurozone stuck in a high risk deflation area; Draghi expects further price plunge

A third of world’s out-of-school youth live in conflict, disaster-affected countries: UNICEF report

CHALLENGING THE ZEITGEIST OF DIGITAL – Change making projects innovate mobile support for refugees, inclusive environments, early breast cancer detection and more

From glass ceiling to glass cliff: women are not a leadership quick-fix

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: mental health, conflict prevention, Ebola in Uganda, Sudan protests, child labour

Hundreds of wounded Gaza protesters risk limb amputation without immediate help, warns top UN official

New York high school students are getting free water bottles to cut plastic waste

Gender disparity in salary and promotion in medicine: still a long way to go

New Report Offers Global Outlook on Efforts to Beat Plastic Pollution

Winter 2019 Economic Forecast: growth moderates amid global uncertainties

MEPs urge the EU to lead the way to net-zero emissions by 2050

This new way of understanding disease is changing medicine

JADE Handover Ceremony at the European Parliement

Service Engineer Intern – 1991

Berlin wants to break South’s politico-economic standing

Sudan: UN chief deplores excessive force used against pro-democracy protesters, calls on military and civilian leaders to ‘stay the course’ in negotiations

Press conference by EC Vice-Presidents Valdis Dombrovskis (left) and Jyrki Katainen, on the Commission's proposals in the framework of the financial union (Source: EC Audiovisual Services / Copyright: EU, 2018 / Photo by Georges Boulougouris)

EU Finance ministers agree on new banking capital rules and move closer to Banking Union

‘The clock is ticking’ on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, says UN deputy chief

UN chief urges Somalis not to be ‘deterred’ by latest deadly terror attack

Better ID card security to curb document fraud

Four lessons from Africa on building effective business ecosystems

The importance of exchanges for the medical students of the world

Q and A on the draft digital copyright directive

The European Parliament wants to stay in one place

The Brussels bureaucracy blocks the Youth Guarantee scheme

An expert in the South China Sea issue on an exclusive interview at the European Sting

How smartphones can close the global skills gap for billions

Here are 4 ways investors can influence more secure and responsible innovation

Our children’s career aspirations have nothing in common with the jobs of the future

Populist Eurosceptics helped by Trumpists seriously threaten the EU edifice

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

These are the world’s 20 most dynamic cities

Reflections on the the biggest refugee crisis since World War II

Companies have a new skill to master – innovation

Terrorist content online should be removed within one hour, says EP

More needs to be done to bridge the digital gender divide

Trump rejects Europe’s offer for zero car tariffs; he had personally tabled that idea in July

Khashoggi murder trials must public and meet international standards, UN expert urges

Medschool 4.0: how to succeed in the smart revolution of healthcare

EU sets ambitious targets for the Warsaw climate conference

Antibiotics are contaminating the world’s rivers

FROM THE FIELD: Liberia boosts efforts to guard against rising seas

Amsterdam is getting a 3D-printed bridge

EU Parliament: ECB accountable for not supporting real economy

FROM THE FIELD: Stopping aquatic hitchhikers to safeguard environments at sea

A skills gap is jeopardizing efforts to end energy poverty

Migration crisis, a human crisis after all

Parallel downfalls of Merkel and Deutsche Bank threaten Germany and Europe

5G mobile is nearly here – but we should share networks to make it affordable

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