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Thursday, 11 April 2019

President welcomes Berlin Process foreign ministers


The Western Balkan countries need binding prospects of EU membership, but they should also carry out reforms and regulate their mutual relations, Krzysztof Szczerski, the chief aide to Poland's President Andrzej Duda, said.


On Thursday evening, President Andrzej Duda hosted in Warsaw foreign ministers of countries taking part in the Berlin Process, who came to Poland's capital for a two-day meeting.


"During the meeting, the president stressed that only a combination of three dimensions, that is economic reforms, state reforms and military security among the Western Balkan countries, offers viable chances for the region's integration with the Euro-Atlantic zone," Krzysztof Szczerski said.


The presidential official stressed that the current year is important for the Western Balkans' integration process with the EU, as the latter has been negotiating its next multi-annual budget and the action plan for the new European Commission, the EU's executive arm.


"There's a question whether there will be a place in those documents for the Western Balkans' accession prospects," Krzysztof Szczerski said.


"So far, as the interlocutors stressed, the lack of a decisive and binding signal from the EU makes the accession more a promise, rather than a real plan," Krzysztof Szczerski observed.


The Berlin Process is a German-led inter-governmental initiative to promote the expansion of the European Union to the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia) and to strengthen regional cooperation. The initiative comprises eight EU countries, namely, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Great Britain. Poland joined the project last year. (PAP)

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