European Western Balkans

Leaders of the Open Balkan will attend EU-Western Balkans meeting in Brussels

Edi Rama, Aleksandar Vučić and Nikola Dimitrov; Photo: Presidency of Serbia / Dimitrije Goll

BELGRADE – The Office of the President of Serbia announced on Wednesday that the leaders of the Open Balkan initiative will attend the meeting with the leaders of the EU in Brussels on 23 June. Such a decision was made after “detailed and comprehensive consultations” and represents the “constructive contribution” of Serbia, North Macedonia, and Albania to the European integration process.

This statement resolved the 24-hour dilemma of whether the leaders of the Open Balkan will attend the meeting at the invitation of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. On Tuesday, it was said that Rama, Vučić, and Kovačevski are in consultations on whether to go to Brussels and that the three leaders will make the final decision on Wednesday at noon.

“After detailed and comprehensive consultations with associates and members of governments, the leaders of the three countries decided to go to the meeting together, agreeing on principles that will be the main backbone of talks with numerous EU officials”, it was said.

According to the statement, it will be “another step in the fight for the progress” of Albania, Serbia, and North Macedonia, but also a clear signal that despite “numerous obstacles”, these three countries continue to make a constructive contribution to the path to European integration.

“We are aware that the topics we will discuss at the summit will not be easy, but our participation will once again show and confirm our commitment to the European path of Serbia, Albania, and North Macedonia,” the statement added.

Although it has been repeatedly said that the Open Balkan, created by the leaders of Albania, Serbia, and North Macedonia, is an economic initiative aimed at creating a free movement of people, goods, capital, and services, the Brussels presence is the first political decision the leaders make together.

Earlier this month, President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić said that Serbia must make progress on the EU path, assessing that Serbia will be the only country that will not make progress in June. “We will be the only ones who will not make any progress in June. I am thinking about whether to go to the summit in June”, said Vučić at the GLOBSEC Forum in Bratislava.


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