Ljubljana, Slovenia – May 07 (Tirana Echo) – Balkan security is European security and Slovenia is key to the region’s stability – Donald Tusk has told Slovenian PM ahead of an important EU summit on the Western Balkans.
During a visit in Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana, Eueopean Council President Donald Tusk met with Slovenia’s Prime Minister Miro Cerar to discuss on the upcoming EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia – the first such meeting of the EU with the Western Balkan partners in 15 years. Bulgaria currently holds the presidency of the European Union.
Tusk who visited Balkan capitals Tirana, Podgorica, Belgrade, Pristina, Sarajevo and Skopje recently said the EU should use the summit in Sofia to reaffirm the European perspective of the Western Balkans, while improving human, digital and infrastructure connections with and within the Western Balkan partners.
“We should strive to boost cooperation in other areas of mutual interest, including migration and security. Because Balkan security is European security.” – said Tusk during a press conference in Ljubljana.
Tusk pointed out that Slovenia has always been a strong advocate of the ‘European perspective’ for the Western Balkans while congratulating prime minister Cerar’s engagement in keeping the enlargement agenda alive thanks to his deep knowledge of the region.
“You have never given up on the idea that the future of the Western Balkans is with the European Union. Your engagement is truly invaluable. I have no doubt that Slovenia, and you yourself, will continue to play an important part in coordinating our action in the region, in order to create more stability and prosperity on our continent.” – noted Tusk.
Tusk’s comments come after the European Commission recommended the opening of EU membership talks with Albania and Macedonia and while key members like Germany, France and the Netherlands are highly skeptical over a new wave of EU enlargement, hugely unpopular with home crowds.
Last week, Belgian prime minister Charles Michel told the European Parliament that a special envoy of the EU to the Western Balkans could contribute to the stabilization of the southern region of Europe which hopes to join the union.
Earlier during the last month, European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker told the European Parliament “I do not want to see war returning to the Balkans and so we need to open up to them”.
The European Commission is pushing for the EU to expand into a region which is still scarred by ethnic wars fought in the 1990s and dogged by a reputation for lawlessness and organized crime.
EU member states are expected to decide during their key June summit on whether to open the green light for Albania and Macedonia.
Copyright @2018 TiranaEcho.com All Rights Reserved