EU aspirants from Balkans urged to get on with reforms

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, speaks during a joint press conference with Kosovo president Hashim Thaci in Kosovo capital Pristina on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, during his first official visit to Kosovo. Jean-Claude Juncker is on Balkan tour visiting seven nations in western Balkans as a part of EU enlargement policy. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

International Desk:

Leaders from the Western Balkans say they are determined to implement a wide array of reforms in order to join the European Union in the future.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia on Thursday that the EU remained “strongly engaged” with enlargement toward the region.

After a tour to six countries hoping to join the EU, Juncker said “the Western Balkans have a place in the European Union.”

However, he cautioned that none of the six currently comply with the conditions necessary to join.

While some countries have a realistic chance to join by 2025, Juncker said would need to undertake political reforms, fight corruption and organized crime as well as resolve outstanding conflicts with neighbors.unb


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