Croatia’s Neighbours Could Enter EU by 2025

By 26 February 2018

ZAGREB, February 26, 2018 - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told Western Balkan countries on Sunday to see 2025 as the date when any of them could join the European Union, provided they worked to meet the criteria for membership, according to Reuters.

Stopping in Albania following a visit to Macedonia on a tour of countries aspiring to join the EU, Juncker said 2025 was a possible entry date for all, not just the frontrunners. "Contrary to what we read everywhere, the Commission and myself did not say that Serbia and Montenegro would necessarily be members of the EU in 2025," Juncker told reporters in Tirana. "The 2025 date is open to all candidate countries," he said.

"And to the extent that a candidate country by then or later or earlier would have met all the criteria for membership, we will proceed in such a way that its efforts will be recognised by the EU," he told a news conference.

Reuters notes that Serbia and Montenegro are seen as frontrunners to join the EU. They are negotiating several chapters of the many they need to address before joining, although they have completed work on just a few.

Albania and Macedonia expect to be given the green light to start accession negotiations in June.