The highlights of the document include clustering the negotiating chapters in thematic areas, the possibility for rewarding the reforms with more funding and phasing-in of candidates to individual policies, but also sanctioning lack of progress by putting the negotiations on hold in certain areas, or in the most serious cases, their overall suspension. The Commission proposes that stronger focus should be given to the fundamentals, with roadmaps for the rule of law and democratic institutions. According to the document, the EU should deliver on its unwavering commitment to a merit-based process, and the political nature of the process should be put front and center with mechanisms such as regular EU-Western Balkans summits, country-specific intergovernmental conferences and more focus on political issues by the Stabilization and Association bodies. Read more here.
Source: European Western Balkans