The European Commission has adopted the new methodology for the enlargement of the European Union towards the countries of the Western Balkans. For Macedonia and Albania, the new methodology will be obligatory while Serbia and Montenegro will decide for themselves according to which system they will continue the negotiations with the EU in the forthcoming period.

At the press conference following the adoption of the new methodology, the EU Commissioner Oliver Varheli stressed that the EU’s enlargement remains a top priority for the European Commission. He also said that the new methodology is based upon four basic principles: credibility, stronger political leadership, dynamics and predictability.

-We shall have six groups of issues where we shall implement the negotiations. It also means that these negotiations will be more varied, more complex and actually it will cause the candidate countries to speed up the reforms. Also, it should create a possibility to move faster if they meet the requirements faster – said Varheli.

He stressed that the accession negotiations will be more encompassing, which in return will allow the countries to move faster if they are delivering the reforms faster. The negotiations will open with the group related to the rule of law and with this group of issues the accession negotiations will be closed, stressed EU Commissioner Varheli. With the new methodology sanctions are planned for countries that have shown signs of regression in certain areas and these will manifest as depriving access to part of European Funds.

The Foreign Affairs Minister Nikola Dimitrov said that the new methodology will contribute to a strengthened political dimension but also it will bring more dynamics, predictability and credibility to the process.

-We believe that with this renewed approach will result in a win win situation in the forthcoming weeks: opening of the negotiations together with an improved process. We, who are part of the region, have nothing to be afraid of with the introduction of reversibility.At last, the accession process exists to transform the realities in the field towards the better. Receiving benefits for the reformers and more sanctions for those that reverse the process, on basis of a credible and objective evaluation for the advancement is a step forward – said Dimitrov.