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Balkans: EC Accession

Volume 474: debated on Monday 31 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on proposals for the European Union’s further enlargement in the Balkans. (196207)

The Government remain committed to a future for the Western Balkans in the EU. Working towards EU accession will help the region move away from the conflicts and troubles that have held it back in the past, and consolidate peace and stability. Each state should move towards EU membership by demonstrating progress against the criteria set out in the Stabilisation and Association process and the priorities identified in their individual European or Accession Partnerships. The UK is working with countries in the region to help them make the necessary reforms. We welcome the Commission’s 5 March 2008 communication reaffirming 2003 European Council conclusions for a European perspective for the region and proposing practical ways to deepen the EU’s relations with the region within the existing €4 billion Instrument for Pre-Accession funding allocated to the Western Balkans between 2007-11.