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Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL121, tabled on 19 May 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their policy for enabling Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo to become members of as many European institutions as possible, with the minimum of delay and the maximum of co-operation.

Answered on

27 May 2016

I refer my noble Lord to my answer of 27 April (HL7662). The British Government supports the accession of Western Balkans countries to European institutions such as Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe and Europol, as a means to deliver our rule of law and governance objectives in the region, once relevant criteria are met. Any decision to enlarge the EU requires the unanimous agreement of the governments of all existing Member States and ratification in accordance with each country’s constitutional arrangements. In the case of the UK, under the EU Act 2011 ratification cannot take place without an Act of Parliament to approve the new accession. We can therefore ensure that our requirements are respected in any future EU enlargement.