French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker believe the EU should open its doors to new Balkan members from by 2025.
This is the conclusion of an internal analysis that Juncker submitted to an unofficial EU summit in Tallinn last night, while referring to Serbia and Montenegro, Beta reported on Friday.
“If we want greater stability in our neighborhood, then we must maintain convincing prospects for the membership of the Western Balkans (countries),” Juncker’s document states, adding that there was “an important consensus there,” since both Juncker and Macron “stress the need for the EU to expand to the Western Balkans by 2015.”
The document explains that Macron thinks the EU “will have to open its doors to the Balkan countries as soon as they fully respect the conditions of the EU acquis and the requirements related to democracy.”
Junker presented analytically in what way – with the goal of further strengthening and integrating the EU – his views from the recent “state of the Union” coincide with Macron’s proposals for “a renewal of the Union” and its economic and security strengthening “in light of the challenges in today’s world” – which the French president presented in a speech on Tuesday.
Macron outlined his thorough and comprehensive ideas on a reorganization of the entire EU and in particular the eurozone, to the heads of state or government of the EU, while Juncker shared his analysis, the agency said.
In the part referring their coinciding stances on EU’s enlargement, Juncker points out that the next step is to “prepare the ground for enlargement during the next European Commission mandate,” and indicates that this refers to “Serbia and Montenegro.”
“This must focus on the rule of law, fundamental rights and the fight against corruption, as well as overall stability of that region,” he emphasized.
Earlier this month, Juncker said that the EU would not expand before 2019 – i.e., that Western Balkan countries could not count on joining “before 2020.”