News archive - EU enlargement: key findings of the 2013 progress reports and priorities for 2014

The EC "Enlargement package" is adopted every year and consists of a set of documents explaining its policy on EU enlargement and reporting on progress achieved in each country. This package includes the annual Enlargement Strategy Paper which sets out the way forward for the coming year and takes stock of the progress made over the last twelve months by each candidate country and potential candidate.

In addition to this strategy paper, the package contains the so-called Progress Reports in which the Commission services present their assessment of what each candidate and potential candidate has achieved over the last year.

All the documents are available below for download.


Presenting the annual Enlargement Package, Commissioner Štefan Füle said: 'Enlargement is a process in the making and despite the economic crisis it is a good policy – it constitutes part of the solution. Enlargement continues to be one of the most effective EU policies. By addressing 'fundamentals' first - such as the fight against corruption, sound economic governance, freedom of expression and media, human rights and protection of minorities - it strengthens political and economic stability in the aspiring countries and the EU as a whole.''

In the annual reports, the European Commission recommends granting EU candidate status to Albania and, for the fifth time in a row, the opening of accession negotiations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Commission also assesses the progress towards EU accession made elsewhere in the Western Balkans and in Turkey over the past year.

The enlargement strategy adopted today confirms the continued relevance of the fundamentals of the Copenhagen membership criteria agreed by the EU 20 years ago. These include the rule of law, which remains firmly anchored at the heart of the enlargement process. The countries concerned need to tackle issues such as judicial reform and the fight against organised crime and corruption early in the accession negotiations, to demonstrate a solid track record of sustainable results.

The global economic crisis has underlined the need for all countries to strengthen their economic governance and improve competitiveness. The Commission has set out a number of proposals to support this aim, including the introduction of national economic reform strategies and action plans for public financial management.

Recent events in a number of enlargement countries have underlined the importance of strengthening democratic institutions and making democratic processes more inclusive. All the countries in the Western Balkans and Turkey need to undertake further reforms to ensure that the principles of freedom of expression and the rights of persons belonging to minorities, including Roma are respected in practice. More robust measures are needed to protect other vulnerable groups from discrimination, in particular on grounds of sexual orientation. The Commission will increase the priority attached to these issues in the accession process, including through better targeted pre-accession funding and increased assistance to support Roma inclusion through a Roma “facility”.

Original Source: EC press release

Geographical focus
  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • International; Other
  • Kosovo*
  • Montenegro
  • Republic of North Macedonia
  • Serbia
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • General

Entry created by Desiree Pecarz on October 16, 2013
Modified on October 16, 2013