BRUSSELS (ANA/M. Aroni) - Lawmakers in the European Parliament discussed the European perspective of countries in the Western Balkans in a plenary session on Thursday, adopting resolutions that set out the requirements that FYROM and Albania need to meet so that accession talks can commence in June 2019.

The MEPs noted that FYROM must implement the Prespes Agreement before accession talks can be launched and welcomed the FYROM parliament’s resolution to commence the constitutional process for the implementing the Agreement. The Prespes Agreement sends a ?positive message of stability and reconciliation in the entire Western Balkan region,? the resolution stated.

They also asked FYROM to resolve other issues that are considered problematic, for example to step up its efforts to combat money laundering, protect the judiciary from political interference and take measures to ensure the rule of law.

Concerning Albania, the EP backed the Council’s position for accession talks to commence in June 2019, provided the country meets all the requirements. The EP welcomed the steady progress Albania has been making in implementing EU related reforms but noted several rule of law deficiencies, high levels of corruption in the country and the justice system's lack of efficiency, all of which function as impediments to investments.

Concerning Montenegro, it was stated that provided steady progress continues, the country will be ready to join the EU in 2025.

Finally, the EP called on Hungarian authorities to extradite former FYROM prime minister, Nikola Gruevski, who had been convicted for abuse of power in his country before fleeing to Hungary.