Correspondent in Brussels
The leaders of the European Union are meeting with those of the Western Balkan countries at Brdo Castle in the Slovenian town of Kranj, a meeting aimed at dramatizing the importance of linking the community block with its Balkan neighbors, but at the same time ask them for patience regarding their chances of becoming members of the EU in the short or medium term. The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has been the first Spanish leader who agrees to meet in the same room with the President of Kosovo, whose independence Spain and other countries do not recognize, although to make things easier the Slovenian organization has accepted that neither appear nor flags or signs that mention country names.
The objective of the leaders of Albania, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Kosovo is to integrate into the EU as soon as possible, but for now, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel he simply said on his arrival at the meeting this morning that this is’ a good opportunity to confirm the European perspective of the Balkans’ and also ‘an occasion to make it clear that we are ready to mobilize a lot of money to invest in those countries, and also to support economic reforms and improve governance. ‘
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der LeyenIf he strongly advocates that accession negotiations begin as soon as possible with at least Albanis and North Macedonia, he has said that these countries “we want them in the European Union. We are a European family … and I am convinced that we share the same destiny ».
France, Denmark and the Netherlands initially blocked accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia in 2019, although at the moment Bulgaria is the main obstacle because it demands that North Macedonia recognize that it shares the language and a part of the cultural and political history with this country.
Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krisjanis Karins noted that the Balkan countries still “have a way to go”, but warned that the EU must “reach out or someone else will, and push those countries in a different direction.” , in reference to the growing involvement in the Balkans of other powers, such as Russia, China, Turkey, Iran or Saudi Arabia.
According to the draft declaration that will probably be approved this afternoon, the EU intends to reaffirm your ‘commitment’ to the enlargement process, but without setting a specific calendar. In return, the Twenty-seven agree to help them with an economic plan of 30,000 million euros already approved in aid and subsidies.