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The Council agreed on the application of the revised enlargement methodology to the accession negotiations with Montenegro and Serbia, after both candidate countries expressed their acceptance of the new methodology.
At a time when independent and free media reporting is more essential than ever, press freedom continues to be under threat. Journalists continue to experience harsh working conditions with increasing financial and political pressure, surveillance, arbitrary prison sentences or violence for doing their work.
Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi will be travelling to the Western Balkans next week as the first COVID-19 vaccines, shared and funded by the European Union, arrive to the region.
On Sunday, the people of Albania exercised their democratic right to vote. We congratulate all those who contributed to making this possible, despite the challenging COVID-19 context. Elections were held implementing a new electoral framework, adopted in line with the recommendations of OSCE/ODIHR.
The European Commission and Austria are announcing today the conclusion of agreements for the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines for the Western Balkans. The 651,000 BioNTech/Pfizer doses are funded by the European Commission and will be shared with the facilitation of Austria. The first delivery to all the partners in the region is due in May, with regular tranches to continue until August.
The Council approved conclusions affirming the EU's determination to renew and strengthen its strategic partnership with its Southern Neighbourhood. The objective is to address common challenges, take advantage of shared opportunities and unlock the region's economic potential for the benefit of its people.
One year ago today, the European Commission and the High Representative set out plans for a targeted EU response to support partner countries' efforts in tackling the Coronavirus pandemic combining resources from the EU, its Member States and European financial institutions, as ‘Team Europe'.
Ahead of International Roma Day on 8 April, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Vĕra Jourová, Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, and Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Olivér Várhelyi issued the following statement:
Thank you Charles.
Indeed, Turkey shows interest in re-engaging with the European Union in a constructive way. We have come to Turkey to give our relationship a new momentum. And in this respect, we had an interesting first meeting with President Erdoğan. And indeed, we discussed four areas in-depth in which the European Union and Turkey would both benefit from enhanced cooperation.