Hungary's FM says some Western Balkans countries could join EU sooner than 2025

NEWS 02.02.2019 11:55
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Source: AFP

Membership of the Western Balkan countries in the European Union (EU) would be in the interest of Europe in terms of its economy and security, said Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Szijjarto, adding that postponing the enlargement by the year 2025 would be unacceptable.

“There is no need to wit for six years. In our opinion, Serbia and Montenegro can become member states of the EU much sooner. That would be in the interest of both Hungary and the entire EU in terms of economy but primarily in terms of security,” Hungarian news agency MIT carried Szijjarto as saying.

The Hungaria's senior official said there were serious tensions present in the Western Balkans and it would be a lot easier to control the situation if the countries of that region integrated into the Union.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn presented in February 2018 the Union's enlargement strategy stipulating a time framework for the next enlargement, set for 2025.

According to that document, Serbia and Montenegro would be the first in line to join the bloc if they implement essential reforms.

“The people and the leaders of the western Balkans have made a clear choice, the choice of bringing their countries inside the EU and today we are telling them: we have made the same choice. We are setting not a target, not a deadline, but we are setting a realistic perspective of timing, 2025, as a perspective,” Mogherini said last year presenting the strategy in the European Parliament.