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EU enlargement

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

The accession negotiations with Montenegro have started on 29th June 2012. In December 2018 negotiations about chapter 27 (environment and climate change) were launched.

Accession negotiations were initiated with Serbia on 21st January 2014. In December 2018 negotiations about chapter 17 (economic and monetary union) and chapter 18 (statistics) were launched.

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted candidate status in December 2005. Albania became a candidate country for EU accession in June 2014.

In June 2018, EU member states in principle agreed on the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in 2019. The European Commission was asked to initiate the technical preparatory work.

Bosnia and Herzegovina submitted its application to join the EU on 15th February 2016. The European Commission is still working on its opinion about the country's ability to fulfil the accession criteria.

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 Balkans. It is the first enlargement strategy that does not include Turkey. The strategy comprises the following areas:

Implementing reform priorities, 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 to accept new members.

Additional information

EU Enlargement – State of play

Contact

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