Magazine article Europe-East

Western Balkans : Foreign Ministers Reaffirm Region's European Perspective

Magazine article Europe-East

Western Balkans : Foreign Ministers Reaffirm Region's European Perspective

Article excerpt

The EU's foreign ministers reconfirmed the European perspective for the Western Balkan countries at their informal meeting attended by their counterparts from the region, on 29 March in Brdo (Slovenia). However, they made it clear that the Balkan states' further progress in their integration bid is conditional upon certain EU-related reforms.

"We have shown [...] the engagement of the European Union in the Western Balkans," Slovenia's Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, whose country holds the rotating EU Presidency, told a press conference after the meeting. "There are different levels of relations [between the EU and the countries in the region], but there is the same aim: full integration," he added.

All the countries of the region except Kosovo, which until 17 February was an integral part of Serbia, have been involved in accession negotiations with the EU. However, the talks have slowed down over the last two years due to the lack of progress in most Balkan countries toward implementing EU-related reforms. The process was further hindered by Kosovo's declaration of independence, which has strained relations between Serbia and the EU. It also worsened ethnic tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is inhabited by three ethnic constituent peoples': Bosniaks, Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats.

Slovenia is seeking to reinforce the EU integration process with the region. In a statement issued after the meeting in Brdo, it urged its neighbours to proceed "with determination" and "as rapidly as possible with political and economic reforms, reconciliation and protection of minority ethnic populations, and progress towards the EU". …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.