European Council conclusions on Western Balkans

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The European Union expresses its full and unequivocal commitment to the EU membership perspective of the Western Balkans and calls for the acceleration of the accession process.

Building on the revised methodology, the European Council invites the Commission, the High Representative and the Council to further advance the gradual integration between the European Union and the region already during the enlargement process itself in a reversible and merit-based manner.

The European Council recalls the importance of reforms, notably in the area of rule of law and in particular those related to the independence and functioning of the judiciary and the fight against corruption. It also calls on the partners to guarantee the rights and equal treatment of persons belonging to minorities.

The European Council was informed about the latest developments on discussions between Bulgaria and North Macedonia. It calls for a swift resolution of the last remaining issues so that accession negotiations can be opened without delay.

The European Council reaffirms the urgency of making tangible progress in resolving outstanding bilateral and regional disputes, particularly the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue on normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo*.

The European Council welcomes the political agreement reached on 12 June 2022 by the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Brussels which is needed for the stability and full functioning of the country and in order to respond to the aspirations of the people. It calls on all political leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina to swiftly implement the commitments set out in the agreement and urgently finalise the constitutional and electoral reform, which will allow the country to advance decisively on its European path, in line with the opinion of the Commission.

The European Council is ready to grant the status of candidate country to Bosnia and Herzegovina and to that aim it invites the Commission to report without delay to the Council on implementation of the 14 key priorities set out in its opinion with special attention to those which constitute a substantial set of reforms in order for the European Council to revert to decide on the matter.

(consilium.europa.eu, 23/06/2022)