Russia’s large-scale aggression against Ukraine in February 2022 has created a new urgency in Brussels for the rapid accession of the Balkan states. In the month of May, the candidate states for EU membership will be introduced to the preliminary annual assessment report by the EU neighborhood commissioner, Oliver Varhelyi.
The world service of Radio Europe e Lire publishes parts of this report, where it is expected that at the end of this year, with Albania, the review of the first chapters of the membership negotiations will begin.
Despite the pressure from the European Parliament, the EU Neighborhood Commissioner, Oliver Varhelyi, is not expected to give concrete deadlines for the full membership of these countries, although the year 2030 has been proposed by some Central and Eastern European countries.
According to these media sources, the EU may revive its enlargement policy for Albania, North Macedonia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
For Ukraine and Moldova, it is expected to propose to member states the green light for the start of accession talks. A candidate status for EU membership will be proposed for Georgia. Bosnia and Herzegovina achieved candidate status despite not meeting all of Brussels’ requirements.
For any recommendation presented by the commission, the final decisions by the member states will be taken in the month of December. This is by no means guaranteed, as unanimity is needed and this has been difficult to ensure before, writes Free Europe, citing the fact that for several years in a row, the European Commission recommended that North Macedonia start negotiations acceptance, but it was first Greece and then Bulgaria that blocked the process.