COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS 2018 Communication on EU Enlargement Policy
1. On 17th April 2018, the Commission published a Communication on EU Enlargement Policy and Country Reports. The Communication takes stock of progress on the implementation of its 2015-2019 EU enlargement strategy, which was endorsed by the Council in December 2015. It is accompanied by a set of comprehensive reports for each of the candidate and potential candidate countries. The candidate countries are Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. The potential candidate countries, without formal candidate status but with an agreed EU perspective, are Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Kosovo.
2. This is a formal Communication to the Council and the European Parliament. The Council is responsible for decisions on the accession of new Member States. The Commission’s Communications have traditionally provided the basis for the Council to take stock and give direction to the accession negotiations and pre-accession reform priorities. This process helps enlargement countries to focus on the required reforms and ensure that accession momentum is maintained. This Communication therefore provides a statement of the Commission’s enlargement strategy; an assessment of progress; and a forward look to challenges and priorities.
3. The main conclusions and recommendations from the Commission’s update are summarised below. A brief summary of the individual Country Reports is set out in Part 2. In both cases, the Government sets out its initial position.