EU states agree on the Sofia Summit statement for the Balkans

EU states agree on the Sofia Summit statement for the Balkans
At the Summit of Slovenia held on June 3, 2017

 The EU Council has confirmed on Tuesday that the representatives of the 28 member states of the EU have agreed on the text of the joint statement to be approved at the Summit for the Western Balkans in Sofia on Thursday.

An EU senior official considered this a great achievement after Spain and some states that have not recognized Kosovo's independence have found it difficult to agree with the text of this statement, as Radio Free Europe informs.

They did not want Kosovo to be part of the joint declaration negotiations and in the end a formula was found: the leaders of the 28 Member States to adopt the statement while the "Western Balkan partners" agree with it.

The Sofia Summit, as confirmed by a senior EU official, will not be for the enlargement, but rather for topics such as connectivity, cooperation in the fight against terrorism, aid to justice reform and the fight against corruption and organized crime, social and economic development of the region.

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is not expected to attend the Summit with Western Balkan countries but sources in the EU have said that Spain will be present as well as all 27 other member states will be represented by their presidents or prime ministers, according to Radio Free Europe.

Precisely because of Kosovo, both in documents and in EU communications, EU member states are referred to as "member states" while those from the Balkans as "partners".

Despite this, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci will travel to Sofia on Wednesday in Bulgaria.

President Thaci will be part of the planned agenda for the Sofia Summit that will bring together the countries of the Western Balkans and the European Union.

The Information Office of the Kosovo Presidency in response to Radio Free Europe said that the president will take part in the entire agenda for this summit.

"The president travels to Bulgaria on Wednesday. The Sofia summit to start
 officially on Thursday, and the president will be part of the whole planned agenda with the leaders of the EU and Western Balkans, but there will also be bilateral meetings with different leaders," the presidency said.

After the arrival in Sofia, President Thaçi will be hosted official reception by Bulgarian President Boyko Borisov will host officially the Kosovo's President.

European officials appreciate this summit as extremely important since it is the first after the Thessaloniki Summit, which was held 15 years ago.
EU states agree on the Sofia Summit statement for the Balkans EU states agree on the Sofia Summit statement for the Balkans Tuesday, May 15, 2018 Rating: 5
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