European Commission published the Enlargement Package 2022

In the autumn of each year, the European Commission adopts its "Enlargement package" - providing a detailed assessment of the state of play and the progress made by the Western Balkans and Türkiye on their respective paths towards the European Union, with a particular focus on implementing fundamental reforms, as well as clear guidance on the reform priorities ahead. Separate chapters are developed for "Science and Research" (chapter 25) and "Education and Culture" (chapter 26). Further chapters address topics including fundamentals such as the functioning of democratic institutions, rule of law, economic criteria, etc., intellectual property law, digital transformation, enterprise and industrial policy, green agenda and sustainable connectivity, agriculture, external relations and many more.

See an excerpt of the related press release: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_22_6082

On October 12, the European Commission adopted its 2022 Enlargement Package, providing a detailed assessment of the state of play and the progress made by the Western Balkans and Türkiye on their respective paths towards the European Union, with a particular focus on implementing fundamental reforms, as well as clear guidance on the reform priorities ahead.

The Commission recommends that Bosnia and Herzegovina be granted candidate status by the Council, on the understanding that a number of steps are taken to reinforce democracy, functionality of state institutions, rule of law, the fight against corruption and organised crime, guarantee media freedom and migration management in the country. The Commission will continue supporting reform efforts and accelerate the integration of the Western Balkans as a whole.

Western Balkans

In the case of Montenegro, the priority for further overall progress in negotiations remains the fulfilment of the rule of law interim benchmarks set under chapters 23 and 24. To reach this milestone, Montenegro needs to intensify its efforts to address the outstanding issues, including in the critical areas of freedom of expression and media freedom and fight against corruption and organised crime and credibility of the judiciary. This requires political stability and constructive engagement by all stakeholders, leading to the establishment of a stable government and broad political consensus in Parliament on key reforms.

Serbia should as a matter of priority establish a government, firmly committed to the EU strategic direction and reform path. Further work and political commitment are needed to continue and deepen reforms and address shortcomings, in particular in the key areas of the judiciary, fight against corruption and organised crime, media freedom, freedom of assembly and the domestic handling of war crimes. Serbia also needs to improve as a matter of priority its alignment with EU foreign and security policy which dropped significantly. It also needs to robustly tackle all forms of disinformation.

Albania and North Macedonia opened a new phase in their relations with the EU following the first intergovernmental conferences on accession negotiations on 19 July 2022. Albania and North Macedonia need to further intensify efforts in key areas of rule of law, the fight against corruption and the fight against organised crime. Albania also has to address property rights, minority issues and freedom of expression.

In June 2022, the European Council expressed its readiness to grant the status of candidate country to Bosnia and Herzegovina and invited the Commission to report on the implementation of the 14 key priorities, with special attention to those that constitute a substantial set of reforms. Despite political turmoil and the general elections of 2 October, the leaders of the political parties represented in the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina in June 2022 committed to principles for ensuring a functional Bosnia and Herzegovina that advances on the European path. Fulfilling the 14 key priorities from the Commission's Opinion on the country's EU membership application will allow recommending opening EU accession negotiations.

Kosovo needs to intensify its efforts to strengthen democracy, public administration, the rule of law and to fight corruption. The Commission stands by its assessment of July 2018 that Kosovo has fulfilled all visa liberalisation benchmarks and the proposal, still pending in the Council, should be treated as a matter of urgency.

On the normalisation of relations, while both Serbia and Kosovo have remained engaged in the Dialogue, the EU expects both sides to engage more constructively in the negotiations on the legally-binding normalisation agreement in the coming period and show flexibility in order to make rapid and concrete progress.

 

Next steps

It is now for the Council to consider the recommendations of the Commission and take decisions on the steps ahead.

For More Information

Commission's Communication
Remarks by Commissioner Várhelyi in AFET to present the 2022 Enlargement Package
Remarks by Commissioner Várhelyi at the press conference on the 2022 Enlargement Package 

For detailed findings and recommendations on each economy, see:

Albania: MEMO; Report; Country factograph

Bosnia and Herzegovina: MEMO; Report; Country factograph

Kosovo: MEMO; Report; Country factograph

Montenegro: MEMO; Report; Country factograph

North Macedonia: MEMO; Report; Country factograph

Serbia: MEMO; Report; Country factograph

Türkiye: MEMO; Report; Country factograph


For more general information

European Commission's February 2020 communication on “Enhancing the accession process - A credible EU perspective for the Western Balkans

Factsheet – The EU accession process step by step

Factsheet – EU – Western Balkans relations

Factsheet – Economic & Investment Plan for the Western Balkans

Brochure – Economic & Investment Plan: Endorsed Flagship Projects

Country
OTHER
Geographical focus
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • General

Entry created by Elke Dall on October 16, 2022
Modified on October 16, 2022