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European Western Balkans
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EU Ministers: Greater EU support is needed for the enlargement process in the Western Balkans

Gordan Grlić-Radman; Photo: Flickr / Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs

BRUSSELS – At the Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels, the foreign ministers of Romania and Croatia pointed out that a more comprehensive discussion and support of the European Union for the enlargement process in the Western Balkans is necessary, N1 reports.

The EU High Representative Josep Borrell informed the Council about the EU’s recent engagement with the Western Balkans, including in the context of Stabilisation and Association Councils and a recent visit to Kosovo and Serbia, as well as Montenegro, by Miroslav Lajčák, the EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue.

However, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Croatia and Romania, Gordan Grlić Radman and Bogdan Aurescu, requested that a comprehensive, strategic debate on the Western Balkans be held at the next session of EU foreign ministers.

Aurescu said that the “EU must strengthen its engagement with the countries of the Western Balkans and confirm its commitment to the enlargement of the Union”.

An initiative of six EU members to support reforms in BiH

Also, the initiative of six EU member states (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia and Croatia) to support reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina was presented.

Grlić Radman said that “we must help Bosnia and Herzegovina achieve political stability and the functionality of its institutions, which is of key importance for its European path.”

Implementing key reforms would contribute to BiH’s EU bid and reduce tensions in the region,” reads the document.

Strategic debate is needed

In a letter to the EU High Representative Josep Borrell on March 5, the foreign ministers of Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia called for a strategic debate on the Western Balkans in April because “there has been a dynamic internal political development in the countries of the region “.

“The pandemic has reinforced existing trends, including geopolitical implications,” and “as the EU mobilizes large sums to support the region, other actors are much more effective in presenting their aid, undermining our reliability, credibility and perception of solidarity,” it is stated in the letter of the ministers of the nine EU member states.

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