Corruption, organized crime and ethnic tensions are slowing reforms in the western Balkans, according to a European Commission report that signals that near-term European Union membership is an unlikely prospect for most countries in the region. “The enforcement of the rule of law, notably through judicial reform, and the fight against corruption and organized crime are top priorities,” the Commission notes in its annual assessment of the progress of Albania and countries that once made up Yugoslavia towards meeting conditions for EU membership. (The Financial Times)

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