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EU Commission Expected To Urge Candidate Status For Albania

Albanian President Bujar Nishani at the European Commission's headquarters in Brussels in mid-September
BRUSSELS -- The European Commission is expected to recommend on October 10 that Albania receive conditional EU candidate status.

EU member states will take the final decision to grant Tirana candidacy in December if key measures such as new laws concerning the high court and the rules of procedure for the Albanian parliament are enacted.

In the annual EU enlargement package, showing development among countries wishing to join the EU, there is a green light for Kosovo to start negotiating a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU despite the fact five member states still don't recognize Pristina.

The SAA is an instrument aimed to bring future member states closer to the EU and has already been granted to all other countries in the Western Balkans.

The European Commission has once again recommended that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia start EU accession negotiations but a dispute over its name with Greece has blocked its progress since 2009.
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