Western Balkans ministers attend EU foreign ministers meeting in Estonia

EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Talinn; Photo: Tanjug / Igor Skendžić / bk

TALINN – Estonia hosted an informal meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU (Gymnich), with the participation of several ministers of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Western Balkans states, with the main topics being the issues of terrorism and violent extremism.

The head of Estonian diplomacy, who is chairing the Council of the European Union until the end of the year, Sven Mikser, announced the joint meeting of the ministers of the member states and the candidate countries to discuss the prevention of radicalization and the fight against radical extremism.

“This is an important topic for both member states and candidate countries. We will not deal directly with EU enlargement today, but this is a topic that is very important for the entire enlargement process” Mikser said at the start of the second day of an informal meeting.

The meeting is also attended by Foreign Affairs ministers from the Western Balkans region, Srđan Darmanović, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, Ditmir Bushati, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania, Nikola Dimitrov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Macedonia, Jadranka Joksimović, the Minister for European Integration of Serbia, as well as by the head of European diplomacy, Federica Mogherini.

“I think it is good to talk to candidate countries about radicalism and terrorism, because this is not only the problem for the member states but also for the candidate countries. Good cooperation and exchange of opinion is important for us and for our security”, Serbian minister of European integration Jadranka Joksimović said.

Foreign Minister of Albania, Ditmir Bushati, emphasized that in order to prevent the spread of extremist ideology, economic development and employment opportunities for young people should remain a top priority. In this context, he emphasized the need to narrow the gap in economic development between EU countries and our region also through financial instruments of the EU enlargement process.