Lasting commitment and a meaningful legacy needed following EU-Western Balkans Summit

May 17, 2018


With the EU-Western Balkans summit taking place today in Sofia, marking the centre piece of Bulgaria’s EU Presidency, the Chairman of the ECR’s Western Balkan’s Policy Group has called for a lasting commitment to increase EU-Western Balkans cooperation and a meaningful legacy to the Summit.

The aim of the Summit is to inject new energy in the EU-Western Balkans relationship, to reaffirm the EU’s commitment towards its Western Balkans partners and to stress the region’s belonging to the European family.

Angel Dzhambazski, along with a number of other ECR Members, have set out their priorities, reflections, and recommendations in policy paper that considers what more needs to be done to advance cooperation between the EU and the Western Balkans, and in some countries’ cases continue on the path to EU membership.

Dzhambazki said:

“The EU needs to do all it can to offer a prosperous, stable, and open future partnership for the region, so that Western Balkan nations want to turn towards the EU and the West rather than the East.

“We welcome the Summit and its aims. Once the Summit is over, we must not lose momentum in what we are trying to achieve, which for some countries in the Western Balkans means EU membership sooner rather than later.

“Of course, this Summit isn’t just about meeting the European Commission’s criteria for EU membership or opening accession talks, but about identifying where we have common challenges, and where we can find common solutions.

“Western Balkan nations should also give their strong commitment to put in place mechanisms to end corruption in order for sustainable and prosperous democracy to flourish.”