Nine EU member states request return of Western Balkans on agenda

NEWS 12.03.2021 15:35
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Source: N1

Nine members of the European Union' demanded on Friday the return of the Western Balkans on the bloc's foreign ministers agenda, stressing the role of other countries in the region, "often at the EU expanse."

“It’s time to look at the Western Balkans strategically,” the foreign ministers of Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Romania, Ireland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia wrote to Josep Borrell, the EU chief diplomat.

The ministers said that “a lot happened since the last enlargement discussion in August 2019,” warning about the coronavirus pandemic’s geopolitical consequences.

“A dynamic internal policy development happened in regional countries. But the pandemic worsened the existing trends,” the ministers said, adding that “other players are ready to get involved in the regional issues, often at the EU’s expense.”

They said the Western Balkans should be looked at in the light of foreign policy and asked Borrell to consider an answer to the current crisis on the ground and be more active regarding other players’ engagement in that area.

The ministers recalled that the EU provided huge support to the region but that the others were more effective in promoting their help, “undermining the reliability, credibility and the perception of the EU’s solidarity.”

That is why the signatories to the letter to Borrel believe the Western Balkans should hit the agenda of the next session of the EU Foreign Policy Council due in Luxembourg on April 19.

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