The European Commission has adopted a new accession methodology for the countries of the Western Balkans, the EU’s Neighborhood and Enlargement Commissioner, Olivér Várhelyi has confirmed.
“Our proposal for a revised methodology was adopted by the European Commission today. It aims to make accession negotiations more credible, dynamic, predictable and with a stronger political steer,” the commissioner wrote on his Twitter account.
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According to the commissioner, the EU needs to have greater engagement in the Western Balkans on all levels, including through regular summits. “We want to involved member states more strongly in the monitoring and reviews of progress,” he said and added that “stronger political steer” is needed on both sides because of the political nature of the accession process.
He said that the conditions for accession are defined more clearly along with the positive impact when progress is made and negative consequences due to lack of progress. “With faster reform progress faster advancing and with stagnation or backsliding, corrective measures can be taken,” Varhelyi said.
“We will be working on the opening of accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania in parallel and we will come forward with economic development and investment plan for the region ahead of the Zagreb summit in May,” he added.
Following the adoption of the new methodology, Ursula von der Leyen, the EC President tweeted that it was a good message to the Western Balkans countries.
According to the new methodology, this means that the negotiating frameworks for Serbia and Montenegro will not be amended but the proposed changes could be accommodated within the existing frameworks with the agreement of these two countries.
All efforts need to be undertaken to resolve bilateral disputes, with a particular emphasis on the EU-facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, which should be concluded with a comprehensive, legally binding agreement on normalization of relations, the proposal said.
This post is also available in: Italiano