EU Enlargement Package: candidate status for Montenegro, final phase of talks with Croatia

On 9 November, the European Commission adopted its Enlargement Package. This presents the Commission's annual assessment of the European Union's enlargement agenda.

The Commission proposes Candidate Status for Montenegro, and recommends that accession negotiations with Montenegro and Albania should be opened once these countries have met a number of key priorities set out in the opinions. The Commission confirms that Croatia is entering the final phase of its accession preparations.

Presenting the annual enlargement package, Commissioner Füle said: "The enlargement policy enables the EU to meet the challenges of a shifting, multi-polar world, in which we need to continue projecting our value-based system beyond our borders. A Union that shall once again build cooperation between former rivals, while upholding the highest standards of human rights, will have the magnetic soft power needed to shape the world around it, rather than be shaped by it."

Negotiations with Croatia have entered their final phase, while negotiations with Turkey advance, albeit at a slow pace. Accession negotiations with Iceland have been launched and Serbia's EU membership application is being processed. The Commission has presented its Opinions on the membership applications of Albania and Montenegro. The Commission renewed its 2009 recommendation that accession negotiations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia should be opened, and reconfirmed the European perspective for Bosnia Herzegovina and for Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244/99).

COUNTRY SUMMARY :

- CROATIA: candidate - applied in 2003. 25 out of 35 chapters have been provisionally closed. Accession negotiations have reached the final phase and should be concluded once Croatia has met the outstanding closing benchmarks, in particular in the field of judiciary and fundamental rights.

- TURKEY: candidate - applied in 1987. 13 chapters are opened and 1 provisionally closed. Full implementation of the obligations under the Customs Union and progress towards normalisation of relations with Cyprus are needed before the country can advance more vigorously in its accession negotiations.

- ICELAND: candidate - applied for membership in 2009 and o pened accession negotiations in July 2010. The screening process is about to start. As Iceland is already a member of the EEA and the Schengen area, a large part of its legislation is already aligned with that of the EU.

- FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA: candidate - applied in 2004. The country continues to sufficiently fulfil the political criteria and the Commission renewed its 2009 recommendation for opening accession negotiations. As a unanimous decision of Member States is required for the negotiations to start, a negotiated and mutually accepted solution to the name issue is essential.

- MONTENEGRO: potential candidate - applied in 2008. In its Opinion the Commission recommends Candidate Status, and the opening of accession negotiations, if progress is recorded in a number of key areas as set out in the opinion.

- ALBANIA: potential candidate - applied in 2009. In its Opinion, the Commission recommends the opening of accession negotiations, if progress is recorded in a number of key areas as set out in the opinion.

- SERBIA: potential candidate - applied in 2009. On 25 October 2010 the General Affairs Council forwarded Serbia’s application to the Commission, which will begin preparing its Opinion.

- BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: potential candidate - has not applied for EU membership; the lack of a shared vision by political leaders on the direction of the country continued to block key reforms and further progress towards the EU.

- KOSOVO (under UNSCR 1244/99): potential candidate – has not applied for EU membership. The EU supports Kosovo's efforts to fulfil its European perspective and launched the Stabilisation and Association Process dialogue in January. The Commission will take forward Kosovo's participation in relevant Union programmes.
 

More information at:

http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/press_corner/key-documents/reports_nov_2010_en.htm

IP/10/1485: European Commission adopts 2010 Enlargement Package

MEMO/10/552: Key findings of the Opinion on Montenegro 

MEMO/10/553: Key findings of the Opinion on Albania

MEMO/10/554: Key findings of the 2010 progress report on Kosovo*  

MEMO/10/556: Key findings of the progress reports on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia  

MEMO/10/557: Key findings of the 2010 progress report on Bosnia and Herzegovina  

MEMO/10/558: Key findings of the progress report on Croatia  

MEMO/10/560: Key findings of the 2010 progress report on Serbia  

MEMO/10/561: Key findings of the progress report on Iceland  

MEMO/10/562: Key findings of the 2010 progress report on Turkey