BRUSSELS – President-elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen stated that the Western Balkans will be one of her priorities during the next five years.
“I wish for the Western Balkans to be as close to EU as possible”, said von der Leyen, Tanjug reports.
She added that the region is very important to the EU and urged for very good relations and intensive cooperation with the countries, saying that it will be one of the focus of her Presidency.
The Commissioner-designate for Neighbourhood and Enlargement is László Trócsányi, former Justice Minister in the government of Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán.
President-elect of the European Commission said that the further steps for joining the EU are clear, and that the primary responsibility for progress on that path is on the Western Balkans countries, Tanjug reports.
“Our rules have not changed. There are basic values, and the countries that want to join the EU must show that they respect the same rules, fundamental values, that they met the conditions and that they are capable of being EU members”, said von der Leyen.
Asked whether the new name of the portfolio, which was called Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations in Juncker’s Commission, represents a change in her administration’s position towards the process, von der Leyen answered that it is the “same department with the same responsibilities”.