A report has been written by the prestigious Financial Times, declaring the integration of Balkan countries into the EU an ambitious agenda aimed at protecting against Russia.
Diplomats say the EU's ambitious agenda for the Balkans, which is seen as more motivational than realistic, is of a particular importance in strengthening the link between Brussels and the region, especially given Russia's promises of an alternative partnership instead of aligning with the EU.
However, the Financial Times recognizes that the prospects of membership have long been catalyst for reforms and reconciliation in the Balkans, ever since the wars of the 1990s.
In addition to the document that the Commission will submit, it is expected that each of the six Western Balkan countries will be required to resolve bilateral disputes and strengthen their stance against corruption, in order to ensure the EU avoids repeating the mistakes made with the acceptance of Romania and Bulgaria.
The Financial Times predicts that Serbia and Montenegro, which have already started membership negotiations, will be able to join the EU by 2025. Meanwhile, Albania and Macedonia remain pending following recommendations from the Commission to launch negotiations.
Although many EU member states are for the expansion, the states of the Western Balkans feel they face strong opposition from powerful countries.
On this note, the Financial Times mentions Kosovo's case and Spain's historic refusal to recognize it as an independent state.