Extracts from the press conference by Štefan Füle, on the EC's adoption of the 2013 Enlargement Package (Balkan countries)
Type: Complete press conference
Brussels - EC/Berlaymont
On 16 October 2013, Štefan Füle, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, gave a press conference to present the 2014 Enlargement Package. The EC recommended granting EU candidate status to Albania and, for the fifth time in a row, the opening of accession negotiations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Commission also assessed the progress towards EU accession made elsewhere in the Western Balkans over the past year.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the Berlaymont building in Brussels
||Soundbite by Štefan Füle, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy (in ENGLISH): We started accession negotiations last year; Montenegro is the first country which is going trough the full cycle of this new approach to enlargement dealing with the chapters 23 and 24. I am happy to see the authorities taking the challenge very seriously and I am happy that also Member States, a number of them have appreciated the efforts behind the action plan presented by Montenegro authorities (2 shots)
||Cutaway of a photographer
||Soundbite by Štefan Füle (in ENGLISH): Serbia has delivered on the membership criteria for opening of accession negotiations and as I have said a couple of times it made a tremendous progress for the normalisation of the relationship with Kosovo. Now the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) entered into force on 1 September. We have started the screening process and I hope very much that before the end of the firs half of the next year will be able to share with the Member States with the first of those screening reports which might open a way for first chapter appears in our table.
||Cutaway of a journalist
||Soundbite by Štefan Füle (in ENGLISH): I think that Skopje has also to address the assessment of the cost of not moving forward of not reaching a compromise, of having the Commission standing here for the sixth time, because there is a cost of the status quo. And I am not going to speculate with the political crisis we have seen as a follow up to 24th of December last year is directly or indirectly linked with this stands still. But we need to move forward, we are losing a lot of time.
||Cutaway of a cameraman
||Soundbite by Štefan Füle (in ENGLISH): This time the Commission is back and says that Albania has delivered. It has delivered on those conditions in addition to that it has delivered also in parliamentary elections.
||Cutaway of cameramen