EU relations with the Western Balkans

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  • 09/06/2014
    3 65744 1 _blank Statement on the Kosovo legislative elections Statement on the Kosovo legislative elections /statements/docs/2014/140609_01_en.pdf 06/09/2014 17:23:00 06/09/2014 17:23:00 06/09/2014 17:23:00 nulldate 2014060917 European External Action Service 090126248c108582 N 090126248c108582 /statements/docs/2014/140609_01_en.pdf 486949 pdf Y /statements/docs/2014/140609_01_en.pdf 1 /statements/docs/2014/140609_01_en.pdf /statements/docs/2014/140609_01_zz.pdf N ID_INTERNAL N N
    Statement on the Kosovo legislative elections pdf - 476 KB [476 KB]
  • 06/06/2014
    5 65744 1 _blank Statement ahead of the legislative elections in Kosovo Statement ahead of the legislative elections in Kosovo /statements/docs/2014/140606_01_en.pdf 06/06/2014 11:41:00 06/06/2014 11:41:00 06/06/2014 11:41:00 nulldate 2014060611 European External Action Service 090126248c0bbef8 N 090126248c0bbef8 /statements/docs/2014/140606_01_en.pdf 582748 pdf Y /statements/docs/2014/140606_01_en.pdf 2 /statements/docs/2014/140606_01_en.pdf /statements/docs/2014/140606_01_fr.pdf /statements/docs/2014/140606_01_zz.pdf N ID_INTERNAL N N
    Statement ahead of the legislative elections in Kosovo pdf - 570 KB [570 KB] français (fr)
  • 05/06/2014
    Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the meeting with Zoran Zaev, President of SDSM party in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

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The geographical proximity of the Western Balkans makes the region of particular importance for the EU. Each country is undertaking economic and political reforms – supported by the EU – bringing them closer in line with the EU.

The term ‘Western Balkans’ covers Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo under UN Security Resolution 1244, Montenegro and Serbia. With the exception of Albania, they were all a part of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

After the break-up of Yugoslavia, the EU established the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe to stimulate economic and political reform in the Western Balkans, Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova. An EU monitoring mission was established to follow political, security and inter-ethnic issues, along with refugee returns.

At the Thessaloniki European Council of June 2003 all of the Western Balkans was considered potential future members of the EU. They have since moved towards EU integration; with varying progress. Whereas Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro have already been granted the status of candidate countries, the others remain potential candidates. Relations between them and the EU are founded upon Stabilisation and Association Agreements .

The agreement establishes free trade areas both with the EU and between the countries of the Western Balkans.

Kosovo , under UN resolution 1244, has a special status. It has not yet signed a stabilisation and association agreement, but is nonetheless engaged with the Union – the EU currently operates a rule of law and a policing mission there.