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

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

Here’s how data can shine a light on financial crime

The Schengen area is at a crossroads

These countries have some of the highest voter turnout in the world

Brexit: European Commission publishes Communication on preparing for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU

Towards a tobacco free India

Youth2030: UN chief launches bold new strategy for young people ‘to lead’

The MWC14 Sting Special Edition

What is hydroponics – and is it the future of farming?

First peaceful transfer of power in DR Congo ‘an extraordinary opportunity’ for advancing rights

UN forum spotlights cities, where struggle for sustainability ‘will be won or lost’

World Health Organisation and medical students: is there any room for improvement?

“France will be there, it will always be there!”, French President Hollande says in a rather disorganised speech; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Is there a cure for corruption in Greece?

Fashion’s hot new trend: clothes you don’t need to wash (very often)

The EU Consumer Policy on the Digital Market: A Behavioral Economics View

Congolese expelled from Angola returning to ‘desperate situation’: UN refugee agency

What do the economic woes of Turkey, Argentina and Indonesia have in common?

Parliament wants to suspend EU accession negotiations with Turkey

Why Indian students are going abroad to become Doctors?

Office workers in these economies clock up the most extra hours

The Franco-German axis considers that all EU needs now is more armaments

Cancer is a growing global threat and prevention is key, UN study shows

How Hawaii plans to be the first US state to run entirely on clean energy

The secret weapon in the fight for sustainability? The humble barcode

Athens searches frantically for a new compromise between politics and economic reality

We need a fresh approach to climate change migration. This is why

‘Warp speed’ technology must be ‘force for good’ UN chief tells web leaders

Gaza probe finds ‘reasonable grounds’ Israeli forces committed international human rights violations

Report on EU trade defence – effective protection against unfair trade

EU job-search aid worth €9.9m for 1,858 former Air France workers

FROM THE FIELD: Survival in Yemen against all odds

Four million Syrian children have only known war since birth: UNICEF

MEPs list conditions for new EU-Azerbaijan deal

10 million Yemenis ‘one step away from famine’, UN food relief agency calls for ‘unhindered access’ to frontline regions

Paris, Washington, IMF against Berlin and ECB on money and interest

Future fit: 3 ways fashion can be more sustainable

FROM THE FIELD: Faces and Voices of Conflict

UN agencies welcome green light for Rohingya projects in northern Myanmar; urge ‘more effective access’

North Korean families facing deep ‘hunger crisis’ after worst harvest in 10 years, UN food assessment shows

Why capital markets have no more reservetions about Eurozone

SMEs and micro firms sinking together with south Eurozone

Innovation can transform the way we solve the world’s water challenges

UN says ‘many humanitarian achievements’, one year after ouster of ISIL from Mosul

The Brexit factor in the US-China trade war and other conflicts

‘Continuing absence’ of political solution to Israel-Palestine conflict ‘undermines and compounds’ UN efforts to end wholesale crisis

GSMA Announces Speakers for Mobile 360 – Russia & CIS 2018

The Brits are not an exception and that’s why they voted to leave

Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works

European Semester 2018 Spring Package: Commission issues recommendations for Member States to achieve sustainable, inclusive and long-term growth

In Rome you can swap plastic bottles for metro tickets

EU Budget: A Reform Support Programme and an Investment Stabilisation Function to strengthen Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union

Fairness in the food supply chain: Commission proposes to increase price transparency

Meet Alice, the battery-powered plane that could herald the age of electric air travel

Eurozone slowly but surely builds its Banking Union

Ten reasons to be optimistic in 2019

Another doomed EU attempt to interfere in Libya?

Facebook/Cambridge Analytica: MEPs pursue personal data breaches probe

Inclusion, equality a must for ‘long-lasting peace and sustainable development’, UN official tells high-level event in Baku

Satellites and data are going to help us phase out fossil fuels. Here’s how

These are 2018’s stats of the year

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