Balkans: France proposes new enlargement principles, media

'Gradual process, strict conditions, no chapters'

18 November, 12:40

    (ANSAmed) - BELGRADE, NOVEMBER 18 - France has advanced a proposal for new EU integration principles for western Balkan countries, Serbian news agency Beta reported on Monday.

    Beta said that each new European integration strategy for western Balkan countries, according to France, needs to be based on the principles of a gradual approach, strict conditions, tangible and reversible benefits.

    ''Once negotiations are opened, the integration process will not be based anymore on the progressive opening of the highest possible number of thematic chapters but rather on a series of consecutive steps that will form coherent blocks of policies, under a scheme decided by the EU and based on the specific characteristics of each applying country'', the French document said according to Beta.

    The same document also stressed that France backs in a 'non ambiguous' way the EU adhesion of the western Balkans, including Kosovo, with the rule of law as a central pillar of the negotiating process, from beginning to end, and the entry of the entire region in the European Union as the final objective.

    French President Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly said recently that the EU enlargement can continue only after the Union will be reformed, consolidating its structure and institutions. During a European Council last month, Paris blocked the start of membership negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania.

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