A+ A-

EU, Western Balkans leaders discuss ways to strengthen relations

EU-Western Balkans leaders meeting
EU-Western Balkans leaders meeting
BRUSSELS, June 23 (KUNA) -- Leaders of the European Union and Western Balkans Thursday held an almost four hour comprehensive discussion at their meeting in Brussels to discuss challenges of the current geostrategic situation and ways to further strengthen the EU-Western Balkans relations.
An EU official told journalists that the meeting "clearly and unequivocally reiterated the European perspective of the Western Balkans and the region's future in the European Union. The war in Ukraine has put EU enlargement front and center." This means advancing with the accession process. By moving ahead with reforms notably, those related to rule of law, justice reforms, and fighting corruption, he said speaking on condition of anonymity.
It also means that the accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania need to start immediately this is the absolute top priority, he stressed. Work continues towards finding a mutually acceptable solution to the remaining bilateral issues between Bulgaria and North Macedonia with a sense of extreme urgency, he noted.
The EU official stressed the urgency to make progress on bilateral and regional disputes, among others, normalizing relations between Kosovo and Serbia, through the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue, building on the political agreement of leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina a few weeks ago, in Brussels, to help the country advance on its EU path towards candidate status. However, the fact that an announced press conference after the EU-Wester Balkans summit was cancelled and there is no official press release for the summit means that things did not go well at the meeting, observers here point out. (end) nk.aa