In the 1950s, six European states joined forces to become what we now know as the European Union. Nowadays, after numerous rounds of enlargement, more than 28 countries are EU members. And the process is far from over.
EU ministers are to discuss new security initiatives with the Western Balkans in what is seen as the first step toward EU accession. Brussels has said it hopes the Western Balkan states will join the bloc by 2025.
Matters of national identity and interest are at stake as Macedonians vote in a highly divisive referendum on what to call their country. Membership in NATO and the European Union could hinge on the result.
The European Union will start accession negotiations with Macedonia and Albania, pending progress on reforms. Some member states have expressed concern over corruption and the rule of law in the two countries.
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