EU supports regional cooperation on Western Balkans

Moratinos, Ashton and Alkalaj; photo: Reuters

Moratinos, Ashton and Alkalaj; photo: Reuters

European Union supported by USA, Russia and Turkey held a ministerial talks with representatives of several Balkan countries in Bosnian capital of Sarajevo. Both sides agreed that Western Balkan needs more cooperation, bilateral activities and excessive growth in fields of economy and political reforms. In communiqué presented to the media after the meetings is stated that all those actions will help in process of reconciliation and building peace, warming up relations between neighbour countries and building new foundations for better cooperation.

“We can say that this is successful story in process of integration of Western Balkans in European Union supported by European Union and US, Russia and Turkey. But we still have a lot of work to do. European Union is announcing that Bosnia and Albania will be part of liberalized visa system; Bosnia also receives an invitation to the NATO MAP Program”, said Spanish FM Miguel Angel Moratinos. Mr. Moratinos is on the stand that EU fulfills all promises from the past and he expects from local governments to fulfill their part of agreement on the road to the full membership in European Union and NATO.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle says that EU is committed to the Western Balkans beside all financial problems and crisis. EU Foreign Commissioner Baroness Catherine Ashton denied that she had a plan for establishing Office of High Representative for Balkans but she confirms that EU wants to have a strong representation in region. Slovakian FM and former EU High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Miroslav Lajcak, say that this meeting was a chance for Balkans to show to friends in EU that they are ready for new era in relations – European era. Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian and Montenegrian FM’s stated that EU convince them that integration processes are not ruled by EU; Montenegrian FM Milan Rocen said: “We must to understand those processes and to finally convince ourselves that doors towards membership in EU are not in Brussels. Those doors are in our capital cities.” Youngest Balkans country, Kosovo, was represented on this meeting as independent state by Foreign Affair Minister Skender Hiseni. By previous agreement he was present on the summit but without mentioning of Kosovo as State. In his statement to the Bosnian national TV station Mr. Hiseni said that his government wants to know if Serbia’s membership in EU will be delayed by Kosovo dispute or not.

Political representatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina are agreed that they need to accomplish their duties in political reforms and establishing stronger and functional government. Representatives of smaller Bosnian entity of Republic of Srpska are not too much concerned about integration processes and their duties in them as much as they are concerned when Office of the High Representative will be closed and transformed into Office of the Special Representative of the EU in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


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