analysis 03 Jan 18

Commission Sees 2018 As Balkans’ Year of Opportunity

In a regional review for BIRN, the European Commission says it is working on a new strategy for the Balkans and urges the countries to embrace the chance to further their European perspectives.


The spokesperson of the European Commission, Maja Kocijancic, says 2018 could be the year of opportunity for Western Balkan countries to take irreversible steps on their EU integration path.

However, Kocijancic told BIRN that, to achieve this goal, the countries concerned must make reforms, in particular on the rule of law, justice and fundamental rights, a priority.

“The EU will not compromise on the accession criteria. Any serious progress is conditional upon effective reforms,” she explained.

Although most countries have made progress towards EU membership, Kocijancic added that many reforms remain outstanding, especially in the area of the rule of law, justice and fundamental rights.

The countries of the region are at different stages.

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