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EU accession process gains momentum

The European Commission is proposing greater focus, commitment and pace to the EU accession process.

The European Union enlargement to the Western Balkans is a top priority for the Commission,said Olivér Várhelyi, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, at the Commission's adoption of the Communication on the revised enlargement methodology in Brussels yesterday: Enhancing the accession process - A credible EU perspective for the Western Balkans

Commissioner Várhelyi described the Commission’s three-track approach. The first concerns enhancing the accession process towards the goal of accession and full EU membership. Running in parallel, the second track is the Commission’s commitment to open accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania for which it will shortly provide an update on their progress. Thirdly, in preparation of the European Union-Western Balkans Summit in Zagreb in May, the Commission will put forward an economic and investment development plan for the region.

The Commission proposes to reinvigorate the accession process by grouping the negotiating chapters in six thematic clusters: fundamentals; internal market; competitiveness and inclusive growth; green agenda and sustainable connectivity; resources, agriculture and cohesion; external relations. 

For the summit, the Commission will consider how to bring forward investment, socio- economic integration and the rule of law for the Western Balkans region. It hopes the Member States will endorse the proposal, and the opening of accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania ahead of the summit.