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EU enlargement

The European Commission is currently conducting EU accession negotiations with Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.

Accession negotiations with Montenegro were opened on 29th June 2012. On 30th June 2020 with the opening of Chapter 8 (Competition Law), all 33 Chapters became open for negotiations. Three of them (Science and Research; Education and Culture; External Relations) have been provisionally closed already.

The negotiation process with Serbia was launched on 21st January 2014.  The tenth meeting of the Accession Conference with Serbia at Ministerial level took place on 27th June 2019. At this meeting, negotiations on Chapter 4 (Financial Services) were opened. 

On 25th March 2020 the Council of the European Union decided to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. The European Council endorsed the decision the following day.

Bosnia and Herzegovina submitted its application to join the EU on 15th February 2016. The EU adopted its Opinion (Avis) of Bosnia and Herzegovina in May 2019, which sets out a comprehensive roadmap of reforms to guide and support the country on its path towards EU integration.

The Stabilization and Association Agreement between the EU and Kosovo entered into force on 1st April 2016. Further EU-rapprochement depends on the normalization of relations with Serbia, progress of reforms and the attitude of those five EU member states (Greece, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Republic of Cyprus) which do not recognize Kosovo as a sovereign state.

Since 2005 the European Union has been conducting accession negotiations with Turkey. Negotiations came to a standstill because of the political situation in the country. No further chapters will be opened at present.

The EU-enlargement Strategy 2018 reaffirmed the accession perspective for all Western Balkan countries. It is the first enlargement strategy that does not include Turkey. The strategy comprises the following areas:

  • Implementing priorities reforms, especially in the field of rule of law, regional economic performance and finding constructive solutions for bilateral conflicts
  • Specific measures of the action plan, in particular enhanced cooperation in the fight against organized crime as well as in the field of migration and border management, increasing the investment framework for the Western Balkans, enhanced focus on social and employment policy, promoting investment in SMEs and start-ups etc.
  • EU internal reforms to ensure that from an institutional and financial point of view the EU will be prepared for future enlargements.

Additional information

EU enlargement

Contact

Europe, ETC: EU-Erweiterung@bmdw.gv.at