New EU members in the Balkans by 2025?

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"The EU is preparing to pledge a 2025 deadline for the next wave of enlargement, but Balkans disputes could hold things back.

"The Western Balkans partners now have a historic window of opportunity. For the first time, their accession perspective has a best-case timeframe," the commission is to say in a strategy paper to be adopted either on 7 or 14 February.

"With strong political will, the delivery of real reforms, and lasting solutions to disputes with neighbours, Montenegro and Serbia should be ready for membership by 2025," the text is to add, according to a draft seen by EUobserver."

See: EU sets date for next wave of enlargement (EUobserver, link)

And: Stars in their eyes (IPS, link):

"Countries on Europe’s eastern periphery aren’t nearly ready to join the EU. We shouldn’t give them false hope"

See also: A decisive year for the EU’s re-engagement with the Western Balkans (CEPS, link):

"After years of taking the Western Balkan region for granted, the EU has woken up to the dramatic deterioration of democratic standards in its nearest neighbourhood. Author Erwan Fouéré argues that the EU now has a chance to reassert its leadership in the debate about the future of the Western Balkans and should seize it to renew its commitment to the region. He offers a number of policy recommendations in this regard"

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