Kyuchyuk: Even in times of global constraints, the EU has shown its openness to the Balkans

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Members of the EP's Foreign Affairs Committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of a
report containing the European Parliament's recommendations for the enlargement
of the Western Balkans during the committee's virtual meeting on Monday.

The Committee on Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (AFET)
adopted by a wide majority the European Parliament’s recommendation report on
the EU enlargement to the Western Balkans ahead of 2020 Summit, which is likely to
be postponed to June and held in the form of a videoconference, said Kyuchyuk,
who is shadow rapporteur for recommendation report in addition to Croatian MEP
Tonino Picula, who is rapporteur for the recommendations.
“The European Parliament is only discussing the coronavirus related issues, so far
the only thing outside the coronavirus that we have voted on is the recommendations
for the Western Balkans, we have not voted on anything else in the last month,”
Kyuchyuk said, adding that an important signal for the region is its access to the EU
Solidarity Fund, a fund that is exclusively available to EU member states.
The report that was adopted on Monday should also be adopted at a plenary
session, which has not yet been scheduled. Kyuchyuk is confident that report would
be adopted by a wide majority at a plenary having in mind that AFET adopted the
report with 58 votes in favor and seven against.
"Our group, Renew Europe, strongly believes that EU enlargement to the Western
Balkans should be a success story. EU reform and the search for a way forward for
the future can and should go hand in hand with the enlargement process. This
recommendation sends clear support to the European perspective of the Western
Balkan countries. Especially now, when Europe and the world are facing constrains
due to the unprecedented crisis of the coronavirus pandemic, we are showing our
openness to the region. Our goal is to ensure that enhanced methodology sets clear
and more predictable rules and criteria and applies them consistently, and that this
leads to full EU membership as the ultimate goal. By approving the revised

methodology and supporting the Council's decision to open accession talks with both
Albania and North Macedonia, the European Parliament has once again
demonstrated its commitment to the region, said Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Permanent
Rapporteur on Macedonia and Deputy Foreign Coordinator for the Renew Europe
group.

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