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EU aims to admit 6 Balkan states under reformed process amid France’s concerns

EU aims to admit 6 Balkan states under reformed process amid France’s concerns

The European Union still aims to admit Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia, and North Macedonia into the bloc, the new EU enlargement commissioner, Oliver Varhelyi, said on Wednesday following France’s veto of the expansion.

Varhelyi was unveiling a new methodology for admitting new members, aimed at mollifying France’s concerns about letting the six Balkan nations into the EU.

He said enlargement was “geo-strategic,” a reference to the view that the bloc cannot stem its waning global influence without stabilizing the Balkans, Reuters reported.

In October, French President Emmanuel Macron halted the process of admitting new members, a decision the commission said was a historic error. The following month, France, which says it supports accession for the Balkan nations in the long term, submitted a proposal for changes.