High Representative of the EU Federica Mogherini again repeated the decision of the EU that until 2019 no Western Balkans state will become EU member. High Representative Mogherini stated that this doesn’t mean that the EU enlargement process has stopped, but that the Western Balkan states are not ready for membership.
In an interview with Slovenian television, High Representative Mogherini said:
“[Membership within two years] would be impossible, the reform process started in all these countries is still at early stages.
In answer to a question regarding possible worries about a growing Russian influence in the region if the EU continues to extend the accession process, Mogherini responded:
Around 70/80% of people in the Balkans support the EU, figures we can only dream of inside the EU. There’s a very positive energy – especially in the younger generations – towards being Europeans, that pushes people in government in these countries towards the EU. If we as the EU and our member states will be coherent in lending support to these countries, there’s no Turkey, Russia or Gulf States that can compete with us. The attraction power in terms of economy, rights, reforms, regional integration that the EU can offer has no rivals.