Statistics Explained

Glossary:Candidate countries

At present there are five official candidate countries for membership of the European Union (EU):

Montenegro (ME)
North Macedonia (MK)
Albania (AL)
Serbia (RS)
Turkey (TR)

Accession negotiations with Turkey started on 3 October 2005. Accession negotiations with North Macedonia granted candidate country status by a European Council decision of December 2005, have not yet started. Montenegro was made a candidate country on 17 December 2010 and accession negotiations started on 29 June 2012. Serbia was granted candidate country status on 1 March 2012. Accession negotiations were launched through the first Intergovernmental Conference with Serbia on 21 January 2014.

In addition, there are two potential candidates, both in the Western Balkans, who have applied for membership but have not yet been granted candidate country status:

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA)
Kosovo[1] (XK[2])

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  1. (Kosovo under UN Security Council Resolution 1244/1999) This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.
  2. 'XK' is a code used for practical reasons and not an official ISO country code.