EU and Western Balkans: Taking forward regional cooperation and reforms
27/09/2018 - 16:57
Both in New York and Brussels this week, the EU is working with the Western Balkans partners to accelerate reforms and the integration process, including through promoting effective regional cooperation.
“Our joint commitment to helping all Western Balkans partners to take irreversible steps forward on their EU integration paths stands as firm as ever”, the High Representative / Vice-President Federica Mogherini said after meeting the leaders of the Western Balkans partners in the margins of the 73rd UN General Assembly in New York. Together with Commissioner Johannes Hahn, the High Representative discussed with them the recent developments and progress in the region, and underlined the need for sustained work on EU-related reforms and more genuine and effective cooperation.
In parallel, the European Commission today in Brussels held the first meeting with Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to launch the technical screening process. This is part of the preparatory work the Commission initiated following the Council conclusions in June 2018 that set out the path towards opening accession negotiations with these two countries in June 2019. It opens a new dynamic phase of EU integration that aims to further boost progress on reforms that should benefit all citizens. The meeting focused on discussing judiciary and fundamental rights, the content of one of the key chapters of the EU acquis.