Senior German diplomat says region’s problems can no longer be put off

NEWS 13.10.2020 13:43
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A senior German Foreign Ministry official said on Tuesday that a solution to the problems in the Western Balkans can no longer be put off.

“Time is very important. It’s important to work together, primarily the countries of the Western Balkans. It’s important to work on establishing rule of law and the implementation of the law,” Susanne Schütz, Director for South-East Europe, Turkey and EFTA States in the German Federal Foreign Ministry, told an online conference on the situation in the region organized by the Igman Initiative.

 She said that everyone should make sure that the people leaving the Western Balkans will return. “The European integration of the six countries of the Western Balkans is the priority of the European Union and Germany’s EU Presidency. The Economic Investment Plan will be a priority in the coming period,” Schutz said.  

She said that the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue is a stumbling block for the region, that Bosnia-Herzegovina is divided along ethnic lines 25 years after the Dayton Agreement, that state structures are not functioning and that it’s hard to reach a consensus on basic issues.

Schutz said that Germany will work with the EU to bring Bosnia and Herzegovina closer to become a normal state, not a state led by ethnic groups and parties. She said that relations between North Macedonia and Bulgaria are very complex and that Albania has a number of conditions to meet.