World Bulletin / News Desk
"Today, the commission has called on the council to launch accession negotiations with Albania and Macedonia," Federica Mogherini told a press conference with EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn in Strasbourg.
Mogherini also said that efforts are also being made on Bosnia and Herzegovina's application and to normalize relations between Belgrade and Kosovo.
Starting late Tuesday, Mogherini is due to embark on a four-nation Balkan tour.
"The Western Balkans are Europe, as we have said many times, and will remain a part of our strong and united Europe in the future. It is a matter of sharing interests and responsibilities," said Mogherini.
Serbia and Montenegro from the Western Balkans are negotiating for EU membership. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Albania, and Kosovo are seeking membership candidacy.
For his part, Hahn said that after a commission recommendation, member countries’ approval is essential for the start of membership negotiations.
"The majority of people in Austria are against it," said Hahn, an Austrian politician.
The EU started membership negotiations with Serbia in 2014 and Montenegro in 2012. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that these two countries could be admitted to the EU by 2025.
Ankara has complained that countries less ready for EU membership than Turkey have been given dates for possible membership, while such dates have been denied for Turkey.
Speaking this morning at the EP General Assembly, French President Emmanuel Macron signalled that the EU is not ready for enlargement in the Balkans.
Young Palestinians from across diaspora take part in online event
Since March 30, more than 110 Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire in Gaza
One of those sentenced was convicted earlier for 2011 Baghdad car bombing that killed dozens
The meeting on Tuesday with the parliament's most senior members was initially set to be held behind closed doors.
Maduro, winning 5.8M votes, set to govern country for another 6-year term
This is what we know about the Boeing passenger plane crash that happened in Cuba on Friday, as the aircraft was taking off from Havana to a city on the east of the island nation
Polls opened early Sunday in Venezuela in elections boycotted by the main opposition parties, and heavily criticized by the United States, the European Union and many Latin American governments.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been hospitalized in the West Bank, a Palestinian official said on Sunday, providing no further details on his condition.
Militants were ambushed while preparing to attack a village southwest of Kirkuk
After weeks of warm words and diplomatic backslapping, Pyongyang abruptly threatened to pull out of the planned summit next month because of US demands for "unilateral nuclear abandonment", according to the North's official KCNA news agency.
Demonstrators call for end to Israeli occupation, independent investigation into Gaza killings
Dirceu lost an appeal against his conviction for money laundering, corruption and membership of a criminal group, at a court in Porto Alegre on Thursday.
Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) won 25 seats, up from 19 in the 2014 election
Turkish presidential spokesman calls US move on relocating embassy 'last nail in coffin'
Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim wrote on Twitter that "fast moving lava from Fissure 20 has crossed Pohoiki Rd near Malama Ki Place," near the Puna forest reserve.
Cabello, a Socialist party boss and former speaker of the National Assembly, was targeted along with his wife, brother and an associate deemed a front man acting on Cabello's behalf.