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Until 2025, the six countries of the Western Balkans could join the EU, says Juncker. That is a 34; encouragement date 34; the states still have much to do.

EU Commission: Juncker views EU accession to western Balkan countries

Until 2025, the six countries of the Western Balkans could join the EU, says Juncker. That is a 34; encouragement date 34; the states still have much to do.

EU Commission: Juncker views EU accession to western Balkan countries

The EU Commission has promised countries of world Balkans accession to Union until 2025. The countries are still "far from meeting conditions", said EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker before EU parliament in Strasbourg. However, date 2025 should motivate you to focus on way. "This is an indicative date, a encouragement date," said Juncker.

"Investments in stability and prosperity of Western Balkans are investments in security and future of Union," said president of Commission. The reason for encouragement was presentation of a new strategy paper by European Commission. In it, authors criticize, among or things, a non-competitive economy, corruption and unresolved intergovernmental conflicts. For example, Serbia does not recognize Kosovo's independence. "These problems must be resolved before accession, or re is no furr accession," said Juncker. Excerpts from paper had already spread world over weekend.

The EU is already conducting talks with Serbia and Montenegro. Official candidate countries are also Macedonia and Albania, but y are not yet being negotiated. The Commission ' was prepared to prepare recommendations for opening of accession negotiations should conditions be met '. Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina are being led by EU as "potential candidates". All six countries that were formerly part of Yugoslavia except Albania have long been seen as EU candidates in Brussels.

Top politicians from Balkan countries welcomed new strategy. Montenegro's head of government Duško Marković spoke of a "positive and necessary signal" and expressed hope that his country might be able to join EU before 2025. Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić said, "At last we have a time frame." However, it is only a chance and not a guarantee.

"Export stability or import instability"

EU politicians also responded positively to Juncker's announcement. It is not a question of "weakening our conditions", said Enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn on prospects of Western Balkans. "Everyone has to do ir homework." This also includes promoting enlargement in countries of existing EU. Because EU has its own interest in tying countries closer to mselves. "Eir we export stability or we import instability."

The Hamburg MEP and foreign policy spokesman of Socialist Group, Knut Fleck Stein (SPD), spoke of a good day for Western Balkans, "but also for European Union", in light of Juncker's announcement. However, a renewed enlargement of Union is controversial. The accession of Romania and Bulgaria 2007 critics is now considered premature.

The Commission's new strategy for a credible enlargement perspective for Western Balkans is also a response to attempts at political influence by Russia in region of former Yugoslavia, as well as a growing economic commitment China. The inclusion of new members would have to be decided unanimously by existing EU Member States. In some countries, re are major concerns in population against furr EU enlargement.

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