First Comments from Euroleaders at the EU-Western Balkans Summit
Leaders of the 28 EU countries sit at the negotiating table with countries wishing to become part of the Union. Before the meeting, some of the euro-leaders made first comments.
"The wellbeing of the Western Balkans guarantees peace and security for all of us. Boyko Borisov has invested a lot of work on this topic," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel minutes before the start of the summit in Sofia, NOVA reports. Merkel was grateful for the good organisation of the event. She also confirmed that at a midnight meeting were discussed the demands of the Bulgarian carriers regarding the new rules on trucks and drivers, which became popular as the" Macron "Act," We have heard the problems of the Bulgarian side. the goal is to achieve a good working conditions for your drivers, " Merkel said.
France supports the accession of the Balkan countries in the European Union, but provided they all carry out the necessary reforms, said French President Emmanuel Macron. "I support the Balkan movement towards Europe and its accession as future EU members. But I think that we need to be very cautious and firm with the enlargement process. We must help the countries that are reforming and moving towards Europe. This is our strategic choice, "said the French leader. "But before the necessary reforms are completed, we should not be in a hurry with enlargement. This will not benefit the European Union or the candidate countries, "said Macron, quoted by TASS.
Meanwhile, the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, said that the stability of the Western Balkans region should be addressed. He commented that there are many candidates for EU membership from the region and noted that there are problems with terrorism, migration.
Balkan stability is also stability for the EU, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said at a press conference today at the National Palace of Culture. He pointed out that this region is European and noted that the policy for the Western Balkans is very important for the EU. The main point is the growth of this region, Tajani commented. He has proposed a 10 billion euro package for European investment in the region - infrastructure and a digital network. I fully support Commissioner Gabriel's actions on roaming and digital politics in this region, said Antonio Tajani. He added that the EP is strongly committed. Tajani said he met with Serbian President Vucic and agreed to the EC's proposal for a possible membership of Serbia and Montenegro by the end of 2025. At the same time, the EP President reminded that European rules should be respected and that work should be done vigorously in the coming years.
"If there is no European perspective in the Balkans, the influence of Turkey will increase and that will cause many problems." This was said by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz before the start of the EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia. Kurz was categorical that his country supports the idea of enlarging the European Union.
British Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed to Prime Minister Boyko Borisov that the Balkans topic will not drop down from the UK agenda. At a meeting, the two discussed European countries' support for regional co-operation, security cooperation and counter-terrorism, the media reported.
Britain understands the importance of the Western Balkans and welcomes the issue of connectivity in the focus of the efforts of the European states, said Theresa May. She stressed the role of Prime Minister Borisov and the Bulgarian Presidency in focusing the EU's attention on the link between the development of the region and the stability in Europe. The British Prime Minister has stated that, despite Brexit, London's engagement with the Western Balkan countries will remain and will continue to build on what has been achieved. Next month, the British capital will accept the leaders of the Berlin Process countries to discuss various aspects of security, said May.
For us the stability and security of the Balkans is a very important topic. By working together, we will do much more, and organizing these two high-level events - in Sofia and London, shows that we are capable of doing so, said Theresa May.
Prime Minister Borisov pointed out that, as a member of the region and at the same time a part of the European Union, Bulgaria will continue to support the development of the Western Balkan countries and the establishment of good neighborly relations between them. This is the right way, and your commitment to the topic and the positions of my colleagues from the European Council give me more confidence that we will be able to make the process irreversible, "the prime minister said.
The excellent cooperation between Bulgaria and the United Kingdom in the field of security was noted during the bilateral meeting.
Obviously we are leaving the EU, but not Europe. We will work for the security of the whole of Europe. This is one of the areas in which we want to preserve and develop cooperation with our partners, the British Prime Minister said. She thanked Prime Minister Borisov for his personal commitment to excellent bilateral relations in this area.
Prime Minister Borisov pointed out that joint work should continue, especially in countering terrorism and organized crime. I do not think anyone in Europe doubts that we need to be even more cohesive with the UK in this respect, the Bulgarian Prime Minister commented.
Borisov also pointed out that the EU should pay more attention to the protection of the external borders. In his words, with more political will, much greater efficiency can be achieved with the huge funds allocated to tackling the migration problem and there are unquestionable results concerning all European citizens.
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