Wednesday, November 10, 2010
EU: Executive okays Montenegro as official candidate
In an enlargement strategy paper, the European Commission gave a significant boost to Montenegro's bid to join the EU, saying its reform efforts had qualified it for candidate status.
But for formal accession talks to open, the former Yugoslav republic "needs to intensify its efforts to consolidate rule of law, in particular in the fight against corruption and organised crime, which remain serious problems," the Commission said.
Croatia is on course to become the 28th EU member state. Talks are entering the final phase, the Commission says.
A dispute with Cyprus continues to delay Turkey's progress towards the EU, which it is not expected to join before 2015.
Montenegro's Balkan neighbours Albania, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Serbia are further behind it in the queue to join the EU.
But on Monday, the 27 EU governments agreed that citizens of Albania and Bosnia-Hercegovina would enjoy visa-free travel to most EU countries, possibly as soon as by mid-December.
Posted by Conference Organizer at 10:17 PM