'No highway for Balkan countries to EU'

'No highway for Balkan countries to EU'

World April 24, 2018 14:18

tirana - The route of the six Balkan countries that want to join the European Union will look more like a hurdle than on a motorway. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council of Heads of Government, said that in Tirana he was visiting the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama. Tusk called it in the EU's interest for the region to be 'fully' integrated into the union and, in his view, this will ultimately happen.

European Commission President Juncker traveled past six capitals last spring and Tusk is doing so this week, in preparation for a summit on 16 May in Sofia, where EU Heads of Government are discussing the Western Balkans. Juncker has previously mentioned 2025 as 'indicative' target year for accession. His right-hand man, Frans Timmermans, told the NIS on Tuesday that EU enlargement will become a matter of 'very, very long breath'.

Accession negotiations with Montenegro (2012) and Serbia (2014) are progressing with difficulty. The European Commission advised last week that the talks with Albania and Macedonia can also be opened. Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo are not yet that far. The six countries are far from meeting the requirements, certainly not in the area of ​​corruption and crime prevention.

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