EU's Tusk favors Western Balkans integration into the bloc

Donald Tusk, one of the European Union's top officials, says the road to European Union membership for Albania and Macedonia will be tough.

The president of the European Council started Tuesday a weeklong tour of the Western Balkans countries, urging more work in the rule of law and the fight against organized crime and corruption.

The 28 EU member states must agree unanimously for any country to become a member. Accession to the bloc has been a powerful driver of political and democratic reform in post-communist countries.

Last week, the EU's executive Commission said enough progress has been made for accession talks to begin.

EU and Balkans leaders will meet in Bulgaria on May 17 in a summit.