EU eyes enlargement as Jean-Claude Juncker tours Balkans

Jean-Claude Juncker is set to visit six western Balkans states hoping to join the EU. With a possible accession date named, the trip is aimed at encouraging progress towards Brussels’ mandated reforms.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Sunday kicks off a visit the newest prospective European Union member states. The whirlwind tour through the western Balkan countries of Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo is intended as an encouraging gesture, as Juncker himself put it. A recently agreed EU enlargement strategy even included a timeline for when these states could join the bloc: 2025.

But this target date should not be understood as a guarantee that all western Balkan countries will be admitted to the EU in seven years’ time.

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