Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/western Balkans : Parliamentarians Urge Accession Progress

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/western Balkans : Parliamentarians Urge Accession Progress

Article excerpt

Parliamentarians from the Western Balkan states are urging the European Union to give greater priority to its expansion into their region, during a special interparliamentary session at the European Parliament, on 13-14 April. The EU's leaders have reassured them that their countries have the European perspective.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose country is currently holding the EU Presidency, said that the Western Balkans constitute "a sort of enclave within the territory of the European Union. We have the sense that they constitute unfinished business". He warned that "we cannot leave this glaring hole in Europe," and that "if we do not integrate this region, others will: there are plenty of potential suitors at the door". "Europe needs to be open to enlargement, and the countries of the region need to do their homework," he concluded.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has echoed Orban's views. Europe's "reunification will not be complete without the Western Balkans as part of the European Union," Barroso said. He stressed that the Commission is "strongly committed to advance the European perspective of the whole region".

MEPs and MPs from the Western Balkan countries agreed that the prospect of accession is one of the best tools to ensure the necessary political and economic reforms in the region. They praised in particular the EU's decision to grant the citizens of all the countries in the region except Kosovo a right to freely travel to the Union. …

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.