Merkel: Thaci and Vucic should follow the example of the Northern Macedonia and Greece for EU membership

Merkel, Thaci and Vucic in Berlin Summit
 German Chancellor Angela Merkel points out that the Western Balkans region has a European perspective, but there are still many conditions to be met.

"Many German citizens have personal relations with the people of the Western Balkans, many from the Western Balkans live in Germany and represent a bridge between those countries. The citizens of this region are our neighbors and their prospect is to become part of the EU if they meet all the conditions," Merkel said.

She says that although the military conflicts of the 1990s have been overcome, there are still open disagreements to be resolved in those countries. In a video posted on the occasion of the forthcoming Western Balkans Summit, which, as part of the Berlin process, will be held on Friday in the Polish city of Poznan, Merkel explained that the goal is to open talks between countries through which they will achieve a better co-operation.

"Today, the situation in the Western Balkans is calm, but there are challenges that need to be resolved and necessary to meet the conditions for preparing countries for EU accession. The road is still erratic," Merkel said.

But she stressed that there are positive examples of dialogue in the region, particularly emphasizing the dispute between Skopje and Athens over the name.

"With political courage, Macedonian PMs Zoran Zaev and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras have proven that conflicts can be resolved and have opened the prospect of opening Macedonia to the accession negotiations with the EU and the country's entry into NATO".

"Such a positive example should be an encouragement to solve the problems in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as between Serbia and Kosovo," Chancellor Merkel said.

As for the next meeting, Merkel said that every year a major problem is being discussed, such as infrastructure construction, and she also noted that for this purpose the EU helps with funding.

"We have to build highways, railroads, roads ... because we know that when people are connected with infrastructure, then they will visit, see and meet each other."

Merkel will participate in a conference on Western Balkans in Poznan on July 5, with the participation of Merkel on the initiative of which in 2014 started the process of Berlin as a process that would help accelerate dialogue and cooperation opportunities in the middle of the region.
Merkel: Thaci and Vucic should follow the example of the Northern Macedonia and Greece for EU membership Merkel: Thaci and Vucic should follow the example of the Northern Macedonia and Greece for EU membership Monday, July 01, 2019 Rating: 5
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