Enlargement reports: MEPs fully support Western Balkans’ European future

(Credit: Unsplash)

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

Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia need to continue focusing on fundamental reforms, say MEPs in resolutions adopted on Thursday.

In their reports assessing the progress made by Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia in the last two years, MEPs warn that advancement by these countries towards joining the EU depends on lasting, in-depth and irreversible reforms across fundamental areas such as the rule of law and the effective functioning of democratic institutions.

MEPs also stress the importance of stepping up the fight against corruption and organised crime, along with good neighbourly relations and regional cooperation.


MEPs welcome Albania’s clear strategic orientation and commitment to the country’s EU integration and call for the formal start of accession negotiations without any further delay, following the complete fulfilment of the conditions set by the European Council. They underline that the Albanian general elections on 25 April 2021 will be key for the consolidation and renewal of Albania’s democratic process, with MEPs warning that free and fair elections are fundamental to the EU integration process.

The report was adopted by 581 votes in favour, 61 against and 45 abstentions.


MEPs urge the Kosovar and Serbian governments to refrain from any action that could undermine trust between the respective parties. Noting that five EU member states have not yet recognised Kosovo, MEPs reiterate their call for them to do so, stressing that Kosovo’s independence is irreversible. Recognition by these remaining EU member states, MEPs argue, would be beneficial to the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, would enhance and consolidate the stability of the region, and would facilitate the EU integration of both states. MEPs also call on the Council to urgently proceed with the adoption of a visa-free regime for the citizens of Kosovo.

The report was adopted by 471 votes in favour, 109 against and 104 abstentions.

North Macedonia

On North Macedonia, MEPs state the country has made consistent progress and is maintaining a steady pace in adopting EU reforms. As a result, they call for the EU to hold a first intergovernmental conference with North Macedonia – which would mark the formal start of accession negotiations – as soon as possible. MEPs regret that Bulgaria and North Macedonia have yet to come to an understanding on outstanding bilateral issues and encourage them to reach a compromise over an action plan of concrete measures to resolve this impasse. Their previous recommendations regarding discrimination against citizens who openly express their Bulgarian identity and/or ethnic background have not been implemented, they note.

The report was adopted by 558 votes in favour, 70 against and 59 abstentions.


MEPs warn that the normalisation of relations by Serbia with Kosovo, and the genuine respect of fundamental rights domestically, is essential to determining the pace of accession negotiations. They also expresses concern about the effective functioning of Serbia’s new parliament, where there is no parliamentary opposition, and the legitimacy of which is challenged by opposition parties. MEPs reiterate the importance of alignment with the EU common foreign and security policy, given that Serbia’s rate of alignment is currently the lowest in the region. MEPs welcome the progress Serbia has made in developing a functional market economy and encourage the Serbian government to continue its structural reforms in this area.

The report was adopted by 538 votes in favour, 69 against and 79 abstentions.


The enlargement reports are the European Parliament’s response to the annual Commission reports on the candidate and the potential candidate countries for EU accession. Resolutions adopted in plenary represent the European Parliament’s official position as regards EU relations with these countries.

the sting Milestones

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

Europe should make voice ‘more heard’ in today’s ‘dangerous world,’ says UN chief

The revenge of the fallen

Syrian crisis is ‘clearest example’ of foreign investment in terrorism, Deputy Prime Minister says at UN

This Syrian national has been trapped at Kuala Lumpur airport for 3 months

European Commission calls on national political parties to join efforts to ensure free and fair elections in Europe

Back to the Basics: Primary Healthcare

Learning lessons from across Europe – the hidden costs of COVID-19 on lung cancer

Eliminating gender based bias in medicine: the role of medical students

MEPs propose more transparent legislative drafting and use of allowances

Out with the old: Young People transforming Humanitarian Action

Parliament adopts deal to improve quality of tap water and reduce plastic litter

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Eaton Hydraulics by Danfoss, subject to conditions

5 ways to #BeatAirPollution

Security spillovers from Trump’s trade wars: China, Germany prepare for global disorder

Iceland’s slowdown underlines the need to fix structural issues

Wirecard: MEPs call for new audit rules, protection for whistle-blowers and EU supervision

Why salaries could finally be on the way up

Estonia: use robust growth to improve income equality and well-being

More funds needed to counter ‘persistent and multi-faceted humanitarian problems’ in Ethiopia

EU prolongs economic sanctions on Russia by six months

New energy security framework will help meet growing needs in East Africa, sustainably – UN economic wing

Postal workers in France are helping elderly people fight loneliness

We are witnessing a revolution in genomics – and it’s only just begun

Why transparency in drug pricing is more complicated than it seems

COP21 Breaking News_04 December: Launch of CREWS, climate risk & early warning systems

Merkel: Nationalism and egoism must never have a chance again in Europe

More funding needed to combat locust swarms ‘unprecedented in modern times’

Global warming: our responsibility

Beware the fragility of the global economy

Commission provides 20 cities with funding for innovative security, digital, environmental and inclusion projects

WHO and UNICEF in campaign to protect 1.6 million in Sudan from cholera

Falling inflation urges ECB to introduce growth measures today

Why are the financial markets shivering again?

‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ clean-up project launches trial run: UN Environment

EU labour mobility: Inconvenient truths for everybody

European Parliament and Eurovision sign partnership for European Elections

EU attempts to make new deal with Turkey as relations deteriorate

Technophobe or technophile? We need more conversation about digital transformation

‘Emulate his example’ urges UN chief as world celebrates Nelson Mandela: a ‘global advocate for dignity and equality’

MWC 2016 LIVE: Qualcomm looks to pick up Hamilton’s winning ways

EP and EU ministers agree on Erasmus+ programme for 2021-2027

My experience living with depression and schizophrenia in Thailand

Building cybersecurity capacity through benchmarking: the Global Cybersecurity Index

3 ways to rebuild trust in how we regulate technology

First calls under Horizon Europe to be launched by the European Research Council

Philanthropy must face a reckoning on race in 2021

New UN finance panel to push Global Goals forward

Conditions deteriorating alarmingly in Yemen, warns senior UN official

Commission reinforces tools to ensure Europe’s interests in international trade

EU mobilises emergency assistance for Croatia in the aftermath of devastating earthquake

Commission concludes that an Excessive Deficit Procedure is no longer warranted for Italy at this stage

Better ID card security to curb document fraud

Can we automate our way out of the savings crisis?

5 lessons for the future of universities

Things are bad and getting worse for South Africa. Or are they?

This is why AI has a gender problem

Commission paralysed before the banking leviathan

The world must pull together to stem the urgent crisis in our ocean

Alice in Colombia

The recipe for creativity involves a lot of ideas, and a short break

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