These requirements are integrated in the documents drafted by the EU in the coming period and this is the only way for "the European Commission to recommend the opening of accession negotiations."
European officials also expect the country to continue to enhance relations with neighbors.
EC Spokesperson Maja Kocijancic says the Commission is currently drafting two documents referring to the Western Balkans, one being the new Enlargement Strategy to be unveiled in February, while the other is the regular Progress Report in April.
EC says 2018 will give a unique chance for irreversible approximation of the Western Balkans to the EU.
"This requires regional countries to give highest priority to reforms in the fields of rule of law, judiciary and fundamental rights. EU will not make compromises regarding the membership criteria", adds Kocijancic.
Regional cooperation and good neighborly relations will be one of the criteria for the progress of Western Balkan states, not only in 2018, but also a condition for their EU accession.
In the first meeting of 2018, the College of Commissioners discussed Wednesday the institutional priorities for 2018, a year to deliver on the reform of the Economic and Monetary Union, secure the EU's borders, overhaul the EU's asylum system, get back to Schengen, complete the Digital Single Market, and bring the Western Balkans closer to the Union.