One of the hot topics from last week’s plenary session for the European Parliament in Strasbourg was the possibility of the non-EU Balkan countries becoming member of the European Union in the years to come. While countries such as Bulgaria, Greece and Romania are already member states, there are still a number of remaining Balkan states with the desire of joining the Union. These countries include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey, and the idea of them being added to the European Union was discussed by MEPs during the session. For this reason, we have decided to make candidate country the latest IATE Term of the Week.
The most recent EU enlargement took place in 2013 when Croatia became the latest country to join. This followed the accession of Bulgaria and Romania in 2007. As Greece has been a member state since 1981, this leaves the countries listed above as the likely candidates to be the next nations added to the Union. However, this is unlikely to happen any time soon and may prove to be more difficult for some of countries than others. Serbia and Montenegro seem to match the criteria necessary for being accepted as a new member state, but despite this fact it is predicted that they will have to wait until 2025 at the earliest before they can be welcomed into the Union. The situation is slightly more complicated for Turkey whose negotiations have been making very slow progress ever since they began in 2005. The current member states’ disapproval of the way the Turkish government responded to an attempted coup in 2016 could halt the progress even further.
Then we have the hopeful countries whose chances of joining look less promising. These countries include Kosovo and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). These countries will need to make some changes in order to match the criteria that the current member states are looking for when choosing whether to allow new members to join. Political tension between these nations and their neighbours doesn’t help their cause either.
To put the full situation into perspective, here is the current status of the Balkan countries looking to join the EU:
- Albania – Official candidate
- Bosnia and Herzegovina – Potential candidate
- Kosovo – Potential candidate
- FYROM – Official candidate
- Montenegro – Negotiating
- Turkey – Negotiating
It will be a long time until we find out whether these countries will be granted accession to the European Union, and the departure of the United Kingdom is bound to have an impact, but for now the discussion will continue.
You can check out our entry for candidate country in IATE below:
We hope you enjoyed this article. Join us on Friday for the next entry. In the meantime, feel free to check out all our previous IATE Terms of the Week here!
- Wikipedia, ‘Enlargement of the European Union’. Available here [accessed on 15/02/18].
- BBC.com, ‘EU enlargement: The next seven’. Available here [accessed on 15/02/18].
Liam Kennedy – Schuman Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament. Graduate of Journalism with a Language (French) at Dublin Institute of Technology. Completed a Masters in Translation Studies at University College Cork.