The member of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee and chairman of the Committee on Cooperation with the Western Balkans, Eduard Kukan, said that Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina should not expect positive reports from the European Commission this year.
According to Kukan, the rule of law and economic aspects of the country are still questionable, while the normalization of relations with Serbia has stagnated, with occasional escalations and tensions from both sides. The European Commission believes that reforms in Kosovo have slowed down due to the last year’s election in Kosovo. On the eve of the 17 April report on progress made by the six Western Balkan countries, Brussels announced that EU's support and focus on the enlargement process will not affect any form of assessment of the state of democracy, rule of law, human rights, economy, and compliance with EU standards in each of the six partner countries in the region. According to the first information from the European Commission's annual report, Albania and Macedonia will receive recommendations for opening membership negotiations with the EU. Earlier this year, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that if Albania continues this path of reforms, the Commission will give a recommendation to launch membership negotiations within the first six months of 2018. And that will most likely happen. Diplomatic sources in Brussels told Deutsche Welle that EU senior officials have held discussions with member states about opening membership negotiations with Skopje and Tirana.