The four Balkan Member States of the European Union: Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece and Romania, will join forces to help the European integration of the other six countries in the region. The four EU members’ chief diplomats: Ekaterina Zaharieva, Marija Pejčinović Burić, Nikos Kotzias and Teodor Meleșcanu agreed on this at a working meeting in New York.
The ministers reviewed what Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia have achieved so far and agreed to provide political and expert support for their European perspective. Zaharieva, Pejčinović Burić, Kotzias and Meleșcanu agreed to pay a joint visit to the applicant countries as a sign of backing them in their efforts to fulfil the accession criteria. Thus, the Western Balkans will be a priority not only for the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council but also for the rest of the Member States in the region.
“The countries must be judged on their own merits. We are aware that there is often jealousy in the Balkans, but it can be creative and encourage reforms in certain countries. Our assistance should also consist in practical things: providing experts, facilitating appointments in Brussels, working for infrastructure connectivity,” minister Zaharieva said.