News archive - Members of the European Parliament (MEP) welcome progress of Balkan countries towards EU membership

MEPs praised the reforms of the Balkan countries and their progress towards achieving EU membership but identified areas for further improvement. On 21 and 22 January, EP's foreign affairs committee adopted a progress report on Montenegro, discussed Kosovo's* European integration process and questioned Suzana Grubjesic, Serbia's deputy prime minister for European integration.


Serbia was granted candidate status by the European Council on 1 March 2012. The progress report discussed 22 January calls on the Council to set a date for the start of accession negotiations as soon as possible.

One of the biggest issues is the country's fraught relations with newly independent Kosovo*, as Ms Grubjesic acknowledged in her discussion with MEPs.

"Our biggest challenge is the dialogue with Priština," she said, adding later: "There is no alternative to dialogue. We consider that all interested parties need to work together in a pragmatic and flexible way to reach a fair and acceptable settlement and improve the lives of ordinary people throughout Kosovo."


MEPs discussed a draft resolution that calls on the five member states that haven't recognised Kosovo* to do so following a feasibility study by the European Commission that says a stabilisation and association agreement could be concluded with Kosovo* despite member states having different views on its status.

The EP resolution also urges Kosovo* to do more to fight corruption and organised crime and to reach out to the Serbian minority.


The EU started accession talks with Montenegro 29 June 2012. The progress report adopted  by the foreign affairs committee 22 January paid tribute to the solid progress made, but MEPs more must be done to protect media freedom, women's rights and gender  equality, as well as to step up the fight against corruption and organised crime.

Source: European Parliament News

Geographical focus
  • Kosovo*
  • Montenegro
  • Serbia
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Danaja Lorencic on January 30, 2013
Modified on January 30, 2013