BRUSSELS – Annual European Commission reports, released yesterday, show that, compared to 2022, Albania increased its level of preparation in six negotiating chapters, while Kosovo increased them in five. North Macedonia and Serbia increased their level of preparation in one chapter each, while in Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina there was no change.
Each European Commission report uses the following scale to describe the state of play in each of the 33 negotiating chapters: early stage, some level of preparation, moderately prepared, good level of preparation and well advanced.
This scale is often informally quantified and the numbers from 1 to 5 are given to each level. European Western Balkans calculated the average level of preparedness on this scale for each country in the region, based on the reports released yesterday.
Montenegro remains the frontrunner in the region, with an average grade of 3.12, on the scale from 1 to 5. However, there were no changes in the level of preparation compared to last year, so the average grade remains the same.
Serbia increased its level of preparation in Chapter 17: Economic and monetary policy, from “moderately prepared”, equivalent to grade 3, to “in between a moderate and a good level of preparation”, equivalent to 3.5. This has increased its overall grade from 3.03 to 3.05.
In North Macedonia, likewise, the same Chapter also received the same improvement in terms of level of preparation, raising the country’s average grade from 3.02 to 3.03.
Albania has achieved a change in the level of preparedness in six chapters. These are Chapter 7: Intellectual property law, Chapter 9: Financial services, Chapter 13: Fisheries and aquaculture, Chapter 15: Energy, Chapter 17: Economic and monetary policy and Chapter 19: Social policy and employment.
These changes have increased Albania’s overall grade from 2.64 to 2.74 on the 1 to 5 scale.
Kosovo is the country that has seen the largest increase in its grade – from 1.85 to 1.98. Its grade has improved in five negotiating chapters.
These chapters, for Kosovo, are Chapter 1: Free movement of goods, Chapter 4: Free movement of capital, Chapter 7: Intellectual property law, Chapter 12: Food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy and Chapter 26: Education and culture.
Finally, Bosnia and Herzegovina has not seen any changes in its level of preparation. Its average grade is 1.67, same as last year.