Western Balkans

Western Balkans

Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Serbia & Montenegro and Romania are considered Balkan countries. 

The EU has launched Stabilisation and Association Processes (SAP) with the Western Balkan countries in view of their possible EU membership. The EU signed the first SAA agreement with FYR Macedonia in April 2001. A similar agreement with Croatia was signed in October 2001; negotiations with Albania started in late 2002. 

In January 2003, the Greek Presidency and the EU Commission President invited the countries in the Balkans to apply for future membership of the EU. At the Thessaloniki Summit in June 16 2003, EU leaders were unequivocal that all Western Balkan countries will eventually join the EU, and a clear EU membership perspective for the Western Balkans was reaffirmed. 

Croatia lodged its application on the 21 February 2003 and Macedonia (FYROM) applied 22 March 2004. Croatia was accepted as candidate country in June 2004 and accession negotiations were launched the 3 October 2005. FYROM was accepted as candidate country by the European Council in December 2005. 

Croatia became EU member 1 July 2013.