Federica Mogherini met Western Balkan leaders in Brussels

Federica Mogherini met Western Balkan leaders in Brussels

 European Union foreign policy accountable Federica Mogherini met Wednesday evening with the prime ministers of six Western Balkan countries to discuss the situation in the region.

Mogherini encuraged Western Balkan states to overcome differences and work together toward European Union membership.

“All present confirmed their full commitment to continue working for the European Union integration process, as confirmed by the EU at the March 2017 European Council. They reiterated their determination and strong shared interest in strengthening cooperation and bringing about tangible results for the lives of the citizens of the region,” Mogherini’s office said in a statement. “They emphasised their commitment to good neighbourly relations and deepening regional understanding, through mutual respect and cooperation.”

Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania attended the discussion together with his counterparts from the region.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Rama said Albania expects to open EU membership negotiations following the end of the political crisis earlier this month and the elections scheduled for next month.

“We did not discuss domestic political issue, I simply told the EU foreign policy chief that after June 25 [elections], the European Commission should be prepared for the government and opposition coming out of these elections to ask with a unified voice the opening of membership negotiations with the European Union,” Rama said.

The informal meeting aimed at debating recent developments in the region and about common views on the European future of the region.

Mogherini said earlier in the day that she would meet the prime ministers of Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia “to discuss the situation in the region, the way forward and how the European Union can strengthen the opportunities and prospects for good neighborly relations in the region, enhancing cooperation between it and each of these countries with the EU and consolidating, what we normally refer to as the transformative power of the European perspective in order to develop inclusive societies, good governance but also sustainable economies. “

She expressed encouragement with some of the positive developments such as opening the way for the solution of the political crisis in Macedonia.

The summit meeting, she added, is a good opportunity to “build a regional understanding and determine a common path on the European path.”

The meeting in Brussels this week aimed at preparing for the official meeting of Western Balkans and EU countries to be held in Trieste, Italy, in early July.

Mogherini last visited the region in March in an attempt to assure the countries the European Union remains open to enlargement, despite its recent crisis.

She described the tensions in the Western Balkans as “extremely dangerous,” which according to her adds to the need for the European Union to act with determination to secure European future for the region.

Mogherini said EU’s power in the region is linked to the credibility of European integration.

Mogherini had invited Zoran Zaev to represent Macedonia as that country’s new prime minister. A week ago, Zaev was authorized by President Ivanov to form the new government within 20 days.

Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for Mogherini, announced a few days ago that six regional leaders were invited in a non-formal meeting to talk about the developments in the region and the steps needed to be taken for improving the situation. Unofficial sources say the main focus will be on Macedonia and Kosovo, which will have early elections on June 11th.
/Oculus News

Federica Mogherini met Western Balkan leaders in Brussels Federica Mogherini met Western Balkan leaders in Brussels Saturday, May 27, 2017 Rating: 5
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