After bloccato the start of official accession negotiations with Albania and Northern Macedonia with the EU, France presented a working document on the reform of the EU accession process.
This is the much-discussed revision of the enlargement methodology of the European Union, whose final objective will be full membership for countries with the status of "candidate". Furthermore, the working document presented by France reiterates "unequivocal support for the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries".
"Albania, Northern Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia belong to Europe for their history, their culture and their geography.
The accession of these states once the European Union has reformed and will become more efficient and able to respond better to its member states, will make Europe more united and sovereign. ”- the document states.
The new approach proposed by France is based on four different principles: gradual adherence, strict conditions, tangible benefits and the possibility for the EU to backtrack in the accession process.
"The accession negotiations will be organized in political blocs, in which the candidate states will gradually be included. To move on to the next stage, states must efficiently meet precise criteria.
[...] Strict conditions, which require the adoption of objectively verifiable indicators, should allow for long-term convergence towards European standards of rule of law, as well as economic and social convergence.
[...] The tangible benefits for the candidate countries relate to increasing financial support. These benefits are currently lacking, which affects the continuation of migratory movements. [...] The EU will have the opportunity to go back and get out of the accession process, to ensure the credibility and importance of the process.”- reads the document.
With the introduction of the possibility for the EU to pull itself out of the accession process, France would like that - given the failed fulfillment of the candidate states - consider the possibility of “suspending the benefits granted and taking a step back in the process "Or even" suspend the entire process in case of violation of the fundamental values of the European Union ".
Finally, France asks the European Council to ask the Commission for wording based on the French proposal - before the next enlargement package was released in January 2020 - by "Proposals for the new methodology (organization, decision-making procedures, monitoring mechanisms, the role of the various institutions and member states)".