On the basis of the Commission communication of 16 October 2013 on the EU's enlargement strategy and main challenges for 2013-2014 and the progress reports on Turkey, Iceland, Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, the Council will discuss on Tuesday 17 December 2013 EU enlargement and the stabilisation and association process. It is expected to adopt conclusions which will cover the general enlargement strategy and include specific language on each separate progress report.
The Council is expected to renew its commitment to the enlargement process and reaffirm its intention to taking the process forward on the basis of agreed principles and conclusions, with each country being assessed on its own merits. It will note the accession of Croatia to the EU as the 28th member state on 1 July 2013, as well as the historic agreement reached by Serbia and Kosovo in April 2013, as strong and visible testimony of the transformative and stabilising effect of the enlargement process.
The Council is further expected to welcome that the new approach to negotiations on judiciary and fundamental rights and on justice, freedom and security has put rule of law issues at the heart of the enlargement process. Equally, ministers are likely to welcome the new emphasis on economic governance, reform, competitiveness and job creation. The Council is also expected to reiterate the continued importance of regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations as essential parts of the enlargement process.
As regards the Western Balkans, the Council is expected to reaffirm its commitment to their European perspective, considering it essential for the stability, reconciliation and the future of the region.
For more detail: http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/countries/strategy-and-progress-report/