Bulgaria, Austria, Romania EU’s enlargement trio

The Europa building; Photo: European Union

BRUSSELS – Bulgaria, Austria and Romania will be taking over the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU in succession over the next 18 months and Brussels believes this will be an opportunity for “neighbours” to help to accelerate the EU integration of the Western Balkans.

Good will is important, but political circumstances in the member states and efforts by the region itself will have a decisive role, a Brussels source told Tanjug.

Bulgarian PM Boyko Borissov has announced EU integration of the Western Balkans would be among the priorities of the Bulgarian presidency of the EU in the first half of 2018.

The enlargement has been talked about for a long time now, and now is the “right opportunity” to make concrete steps forward, Borissov said.

The possibility is here because Austria and Romania will succeed us and they are familiar with the region, he said.