The EU Enlargements Package 2023: What does it mean for “Youth” and the Western Balkans?

About the Document

Each year the Commission adopts its “Enlargement Package” – a set of documents explaining its policy on EU enlargement. The core of this package is a Communication on enlargement, which takes stock of the developments over the last year. It examines the progress made by the candidate governments and potential candidates, the challenges encountered and reforms to be addressed and sets out proposals for the way forward. In addition to the main Communication, the package contains the Reports in which the Commission services present their detailed annual assessment of the state of play of the reform progress in each candidate government and potential candidate over the last year. These assessments are accompanied by recommendations and guidance on the reform priorities.

2023 Enlargement Package

On 8 November 2023, the European Commission adopted its 2023 Enlargement Package, providing a detailed assessment of the state of play and the progress made by the Western Balkans, Türkiye, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine on their respective paths towards the European Union, with a particular focus on implementing fundamental reforms, as well as clear guidance on the reform priorities ahead.

Impact on “YOUTH”

Recognizing the significant role of YOUTH in the enlargement front, Western Balkan partners demonstrated their commitment in 2021 by pledging to establish Youth Guarantee schemes, aligning with the EU model. By mid-2023, substantial progress had been made, with the majority forming inter-ministerial expert groups to craft implementation plans. Notably, three partners had already adopted their plans, and several had initiated pilot schemes in 2023. The Economic and Investment Plan (EIP) places a key emphasis on supporting education reform. This commitment extends across primary, higher, and vocational education, encompassing professional training and lifelong learning initiatives. The EIP’s comprehensive approach includes a strong focus on fostering opportunities for youth and student exchanges, coupled with increased investments in research capacity, forming integral components of the plan’s overarching support for human capital development

In the following document, you’ll discover a summary highlighting the main insights related to progress in the field of YOUTH and the Western Balkans overall.



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