In December 15, 2015 The Council reaffirmed its conclusions regarding the integration and steps towards it for most of the Balkan countries. In particular, it reiterated its unequivocal commitment and support to the EU accession process of these countries.
The Council reiterated in particular its grave concern about the situation in Macedonia, especially regarding its serious political crisis, marked by a divisive political culture, lack of culture of compromise, backsliding on freedom of expression and judicial independence.
Therefore The Council repeated its call for more constructive and inclusive political dialogue within the country, stressing the importance of the April 2016 elections being conducted in a credible way in accordance with international standards. It further called on all parties to ensure a level playing field and electoral reforms in line with OSCE/ODIHR recommendations.
Undertaking to implement the Urgent Reform Priorities, to address systemic rule of law issues including in relation to breaches of fundamental rights, judicial independence, media freedom, elections, corruption, politicisation of state institutions and state/party blurring and failures of oversight were some of the main points which need continuous and close monitoring
The Council also took note that the Commission is prepared to extend its recommendation to open accession negotiations with Macedonia, conditional on the continued implementation of the June/July political agreement and substantial progress in the implementation of the Urgent Reform Priorities.