The outgoing EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini called on the EU to maintain a strong presence in the Western Balkans and prove its interest in embracing the whole of the region, the Beta news agency reported.
Addressing the annual EU ambassadors’ conference in Brussels, Mogherini said she was convinced that “if we don’t do that (embrace the Western Balkan countries), we will regret in a few years.”
She added that Western Balkans’ membership was a question of the merger of the whole continent again and that the Balkans needed it as well as the EU.
“We have a clear interest to take the whole Balkans into the EU. We all know how long, complicated, interesting and lively process it is, and that it will consume lots of time, solving problems and much of political commitment and decisiveness on all sides,” Mogherini said.
She has mentioned the case of North Macedonia and Greece, which have solved the 27-year-old name dispute with the EU help, adding that help is available to the whole Balkan.
“We’ll need courage, leadership and tenacity as well as our strong and constant presence there daily,” Mogherini said.
She added that reconciliation should be the first thing on the agenda.
“This is the only place where the enlargement goes back to the roots of the EU – creating peace where there was war.
“It means economic progress as well, trade, social development, security. That would be beneficial not only for the Balkans but for all of us. We need that, EU needs that,” Mogherini told the conference.
According to her, “it’s time to take a step toward the unification of the European family with wisdom and stamina.”
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