EU-Western Balkans summit ends inconclusively

NEWS 23.06.2022 16:36
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Source: N1

An EU-Western Balkans summit, which lasted more than three hours, ended in Brussels on Thursday without a joint statement and without a press conference.

The European Council President Charles Michel's cabinet said that a scheduled press conference was postponed due to the lack of time as the meeting lasted longer than planned and a joint declaration had not been planned at all.

Despite the absence of any results, Michel's associates said the “meeting went well.”

The leaders of the 27 member states will begin their regular summit later this afternoon and are expected to give the green light for candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova.

These two countries will overtake Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo on the road to the EU, the only two Western Balkan countries that do not have candidate status as yet.

The EU promised the Western Balkans a European perspective back in 2003 at the Thessaloniki Summit.

The French presidency of the EU has been trying to lift Bulgaria's blockade of North Macedonia's progress on its path toward EU integrations. Skopje and Albania are awaiting a green light to open accession talks.

However, those hopes were dashed by Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, who said ahead of the Western Balkans summit that there was no prospect of unblocking and opening talks with North Macedonia at the summit, but hinted that a solution could be reached in the days to come.

Some proposals emerged saying that Bosnia and Herzegovina should be awarded candidate status, but there is no consensus on that.

The draft conclusions to be adopted by EU leaders during the summit reiterate “full and unambiguous commitment” to the perspective of the Western Balkans and call for accelerating the accession process.

At the insistence of Croatia, the draft conclusions call on BiH leaders to urgently deliver on their promise to complete constitutional and electoral reforms.

The draft conclusions welcome an agreement reached by BiH parliamentary party leaders at a meeting with European Council President Charles Michel on 12 June, in which they pledged, among other things, to implement limited constitutional and electoral reforms.

The European Council calls on Bosnia and Herzegovina's political leaders to immediately deliver on the promises made in the agreement and complete constitutional and electoral reforms, which will enable the country to make decisive progress on its European path, in line with the Commission's priorities, so that it can be awarded candidate status.

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