On 17th of December 2010 Montenegro was officially granted candidate status for EU membership by the European Council. This will allow Montenegro to begin official association negotiations. A specific date for the start of the talks was not given.
European Council President, Herman Van Rompej, pointed out that this decision represents the political will of the European Union for countrys of the Western Balkan to join the EU. EU Commissioner on Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, added: “We hope that today's decision will give new impetus to the country's EU-related reforms, especially with respect to the key priorities identified by the Commission as instrumental to preparing the country for the opening of its accession negotiations with the EU".
From the West Balkan countries, Croatia has ongoing negotiations with the EU, while Montenegro and Macedonia have candidate status. Other EU candidates are Turkey and Iceland.
Information provided by Minna Vincetic, TRIALOG