Press Releases Western Balkans: High Representative Josep Borrell hosted regional leaders in New York

Western Balkans: High Representative Josep Borrell hosted regional leaders in New York

High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell hosted an informal meeting with Western Balkans leaders on Tuesday in New York, in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). This year, all six presidents from the region attended. These informal meetings take place regularly in the context of the enhanced cooperation with Western Balkans partners on foreign policy. They also offer an opportunity to exchange views about the challenges in the region and its European future.

The discussion centred around the current global geopolitical challenges dominating the agenda at the UN this week, and focussed also on enlargement and ideas around gradual integration of partners into the European Union.

High Representative Borrell and the Western Balkans leaders discussed how to jointly address the damaging consequences of Russia’s war against Ukraine on food and energy prices, as well as on the stability and security in Europe and globally. High Representative Borrell highlighted the support that the EU is providing to the countries of the Western Balkans in fully associating the region to its initiatives to mitigate the impact of Russia’s aggression, and in addressing other challenges including energy security, food security and climate change.

High Representative Borrell underlined the importance of close cooperation in multilateral fora. In this context, he recalled that the European Union counts on all candidate countries as reliable partners also in foreign, security and defence policy, including the alignment with EU’s decisions in these domains.

The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss expectations on EU accession at a time when EU enlargement policy has gained a new momentum. The High Representative 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 that are necessary to advance on their EU path.

The President of Albania Bajram Begaj, the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Željko Komšić, the President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, the President of Montenegro Jakov Milatović, the President of North Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski and the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić participated in the meeting.

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