The EU are poised to agree to a 2025 deadline for beginning the process that will see Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo join the European Union.
It has launched a major diplomatic effort to help speed up this process after “many years of delay.”
The European Commissioner Johannes Hahn has stated that the move has been sparked by the resurgence of Russia, the migration crisis and Turkey’s authoritative regime and the wish to build up the European block and integration after the UK vote for Brexit.
He added: “Either we export stability to the region or we import instability.”
Mr Hahn has argued that the EU’s enlargement process was the best way to fight corruption, organised crime and the threat of authoritarianism in the region.
A special Balkan summit is being held in Bulgarian capital Sofia in May.
Another meeting will be held in the UK in July.