A gradual and carefully managed enlargement policy is in the interest of the EU. At present, the Western Balkans, Turkey and Iceland are moving closer to meeting the necessary conditions to join the EU.
Croatia, Iceland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey are candidate countries. The EU has repeatedly confirmed that the rest of the Western Balkans – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, as well as Kosovo* – also share the European perspective. They are known as potential candidates.
The Commission prepares Progress Reports on each candidate and potential candidate every year. These reports describe the political and economic developments, they assess the candidates' ability to adapt and implement EU legislation, as well as the progress of the potential candidates in adopting EU standards and fulfilling other specific conditions, such as regional cooperation and cooperation with the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia). The reports highlight the main achievements and pinpoint the shortcomings.