Plenković: The ultimate goal of the negotiations must be EU accession of the WB countries

Andrej Plenković; Photo: European Union

STRASBOURG – Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said today at the presentation of Croatia’s EU presidency program for the following six months, until the EU-Western Balkans summit, scheduled for May 2020 in Zagreb. Plenković pointed out that the Summit will send a clear message that, with a commitment to the accession criteria, countries in the Western Balkans region are welcome to the EU.

“The ultimate goal of the negotiations must be EU accession. This is at the very center of the enlargement policy”, stressed Plenković.

Plenković explained that organizing the EU-Western Balkans summit in Zagreb and opening negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania will be one of Croatia’s priority tasks during the presidency.

“We do not hide our ambition to support the Member States to open accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania. The next European Commission report and proposals to improve the accession negotiation methodology will be crucial in this regard”, said Plenković.

He assessed that the countries of the Western Balkans region were still in a kind of “waiting room”, and that for the sake of the value of enlargement policy it was important to evaluate the individual progress of each country.

The Croatian PM stresses that the EU will support the European integration path of the Western Balkan partners through their participation in European projects and integration in infrastructure networks, as well as through regular political dialogue at the highest level, but also through the implementation of European principles and values.