Press Releases Council of the EU: EU-Western Balkans Ministerial Meeting

Council of the EU: EU-Western Balkans Ministerial Meeting

Following today’s Foreign Affairs Council, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell chaired an EU-Western Balkans ministerial meeting gathering the EU’s Foreign Ministers and their counterparts from the Western Balkans.

The High Representative launched in May 2021 the initiative of enhanced engagement with the Western Balkans on foreign and security policy. Today’s discussion focused on common security challenges against the background of persistent global and regional security threats. High Representative Borrell underlined the importance of unity and strong cooperation with the Western Balkans partners to build resilience and promote peace and stability on the continent. In this context, the High Representative recalled that the European Union counts on candidate countries as reliable partners in foreign, security and defence policy, including when it comes to alignment with the EU’s decisions in these domains.

The meeting also offered an opportunity to exchange views about the challenges in the region and its European future at a time when EU enlargement policy has gained a new momentum and following the recent adoption of the Commission’s enlargement reports assessing each partner’s progress on its EU path.

High Representative Borrell reiterated the EU’s continued strong support – political, technical and financial – to all candidates and potential candidates to help them advance key political, institutional, social and economic reforms. In this regard, the new Growth Plan adopted last week should enable partners to step up reforms and investments to significantly accelerate the speed of the enlargement process and the growth of their economies.

The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania, Igli Hasani, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Elmedin Konaković, the Deputy Prime Minister/Minister for Foreign Affairs and Diaspora of Kosovo*, Donika Gërvalla-Schwarz, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, Filip Ivanović, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia Fatmire Isaki and the Minister of European Integration of Serbia, Tanja Miščević participated in the meeting alongside the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

European Commission’s enlargement reports (European Commission)

Commission presents a new Growth Plan for the Western Balkans (European Commission)

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