Von der Leyen: EU’s door to the Western Balkans should remain open

Ursula von der Leyen; Photo: European Union

STRASBOURG – President-elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, presenting the program of the new European Commission in front of the European Parliament, said the EU’s door to the Western Balkans should remain open.

“We need to show our friends in the Western Balkans that we share the same continent, the same history, the same culture and share the same fate. Our doors remain open,” said von der Leyen.

She said that she is pleased to have experienced diplomats such as Josep Borrell and Olivér Várhelyi, who will promote and protect EU interests and support EU partners, on their team.

“We will strengthen our partners through cooperation, because strong partners make a strong EU,” says von der Leyen.

In addition to the Western Balkans, which was the first point in presenting the program of the new European Commission, von der Leyen focused on climate protection, the EU’s role in foreign affairs, EU trade and economy, digitization and innovation.

She stressed that the EU would get the geopolitical Commission it “urgently needs”.

“The countries of the East, West, South and North need a real partner in the EU,” said von der Leyen.

Von der Leyen said the EU was not just about politics. Laws and the market are already at the forefront of people and their aspirations for freedom, values ​​and a better future.

“Over the next five years, we will work to transform every part of our society and economy,” the future EU president said.

Ursula von der Leyen told MEPs that the EC had put together a great EU team and to ask Parliament for support for a “new start to Europe”.

“We are ready, more importantly Europe is ready. Let’s start working,” concluded von der Layen.

After von der Leyen’s speech and the debate, MEPs will vote to give the mandate the entire European Commission, including President Ursula von der Leyen, High Representative Josep Borrell and 25 Commissioners-designate.

If it receives the expected “green light” of the European Parliament, the European Commission will start working on 1 December.