At aprrival to the Euorpean Council for the EU-Western Balkans informal meeting the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said he hoped that some of Western Balkans countries could become members of the EU before the end of his mandate.
“Today is another step on the European perspective for the Balkan countries. We are going to talk about it also tomorrow at the Foreign Affairs Council.
“I am coming from Munich where I had the opportunity of meeting all the Heads of State or Government of the Balkan countries. I have been flying in the plane with the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia and I learnt that they have [taken] a new important step on the reforms, about the law of the public prosecutor, which shows their will of doing anything they have to do in order to have a European perspective. So we are going to work today and tomorrow for the next European Council to open the door to the European perspective of the Balkan countries.”
“We now propose a new instrument that will cover pretty much the whole world – it is called the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI). It will be comprehensive in geographic and thematic terms. A few exceptions are, obviously, the candidate and potential candidate countries for membership to the European Union and the overseas countries and territories, but also humanitarian aid and, for legal reasons, nuclear safety” – the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini said, while presenting the new initiative.
“I will leave to the Commissioners to go more in detail on their respective fields of responsibility, but I would like to stress the fact that the single instrument approach will give us more coherence and more focus on policies” – Mogherini continued.
“It does not mean having less targeted policies towards certain regions or certain countries. On the contrary, we are proposing to increase the allocation of resources where our political priorities are and in particular our Neighbourhood, our region, Africa, the Western Balkans, climate change, migration, humanitarian aid and human rights and democracy. So the clear political priorities are defined and the allocation of money is reflecting these political priorities”.
The Stabilisation and Association Council (SA Council) between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Union held its second meeting on 10 July 2017. The SA Council welcomed Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU perspective as a single, united and sovereign country. It noted the progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina in its EU integration process following the country’s application for EU membership of February 2016 and the Council conclusions of September 2016 inviting the European Commission to submit an opinion on the merits of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s application.
The SA Council welcomed the adoption of a strategy on integrated border management (IBM) and a new legislative framework on migration and asylum. The SA Council recalled that Bosnia and Herzegovina urgently needs to meet international standards on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism. With regard to counter-terrorism, the SA Council noted with concern that Bosnia and Herzegovina has been affected by the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters and radicalisation. In this respect, the SA Council welcomed the important measures taken by the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina over the past year. The SA Council called on the country’s authorities to take further steps in this regard, notably to prevent and fight radicalisation.
BRUSSELS – today Serbia opened two new chapters in its EU accession talks – Chapters 20 (enterprise and industrial policy) and 26 (education and culture) – at an EU-Serbia Intergovernmental Conference (IGC).
This was the fifth EU-Serbia IGC – Serbia has to date opened eight, and temporarily closed two, out of the total 35 negotiation chapters.
In mid-February, the EU member states gave the green light for also opening Chapter 20 after receiving a European External Action Service report on progress in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.
The Serbian delegation was headed by Minister for European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic (pictured).