Merkel: Balkans part of European Union as soon as possible

Angela Merkel

BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised today the effort of the Western Balkan countries to become part of EU. In a joint press conference with the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama and head of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, Merkel said the integration process is in the hands of these countries.

“In the conference, the Federal Government expresses the idea that 100 years after the First World War, we have a new era in the Balkans. We welcomed today 8 prime ministers. These countries has made huge progress and are ready to keep going. We think that in the next 4 years, to have another summit in Austria this time. So, it would be a process. Kosovo and Serbia has made huge efforts, also Bosnia and Herzegovina. We have talked about regional cooperation. We had the idea of creating a youth network, so people could cooperate. We want the integration process to move faster. We think we have to give it a new impetus, but this is in the hands of these countries. People have huge expectations when it comes to economic development. Barroso was ready, the EU enlargement commissioner Füle also”, Merkel said.

The President of European Comision, Jose Manuel Barroso reaffirmed that EC supports Balkans integration in the EU. “The progress in Albania, Kosovo and Serbia is very notable”, he said.