The Western Balkan political leaders are due to sign agreements on the mutual recognition of identity cards, university degrees and professional qualifications at the summit in Berlin, which begins on November 3, German government officials announced.
A government official in Berlin told Reuters that those are steps towards further integration and stability of the region, where even after the breakup of Yugoslavia and the ethnic wars of the 1990s, tensions have not stopped.
The goal is to bring Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania closer to EU membership, due to fears of the growing influence of Russia and China in the region.
He pointed out that this particularly applies to Serbia, which was bombed by NATO more than two decades ago, and which seeks to balance historically close ties with Russia and aspirations for economic and political integration with the West.
As reported by Reuters, a German government official said that Serbia must decide whether it wants to join the European Union or enter into a partnership with Russia.
“The need to make a decision comes to the fore given the geopolitical developments,” the official said, referring to Russia’s war against Ukraine.
On November 3, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will meet with the leaders of the six Balkan countries and high representatives of the European Union in Berlin, as part of the Berlin Process initiated by his predecessor, Angela Merkel.
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