The Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament (AFET) had the Inter-parliamentary Committee Meeting with representatives from the National Parliaments of the Western Balkans on Wednesday, where they have discussed the perspectives of EU integration and the accession process of the Western Balkans, reported sources.
The meeting was chaired by David McAllister and officials took turn speaking. Director General for Enlargement at the European Commission Christian Danielsson, stated that the clear prospect of the EU membership is not a one-way street.
“In order to bring it into reality, great responsibility lies with the countries of the Western Balkans,” Danielsson noted.
“The upcoming 2018 will be crucial in this regard. The European Commission is working on the Strategy for a credible strategy for the enlargement of the Western Balkans, which will be adopted in February,” he went on to say.
Member of the Albanian parliament, Taulant Balla stated that Albania has taken concrete measures to implement the recommendations of the EU.
“The significant progress has been made in the strengthening of parliament’s legislative role,” said Balla, adding that “Albania is committed to constructive cooperation with its neighbors, adding that two initiatives have been very successful in this area.”
“Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) and Western Balkans Fund (WBF) are excellent initiatives which aim to improve interaction between countries of the region,” said Balla.
For her part, Borjana Krišto, member of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina said that her country will have to work very hard in order to implement all the suggestions made in the Report for BiH.
“We are very aware of the problems we are encountering. However, we share European values and we want to be a part of Europe,” explained Krišto, pointing out that she hopes that Bosnia and Herzegovina will make the most of this period to reform the country.
Also, member of the Assembly of Kosovo, Memli Krasniqi, noted that for Kosovo, the EU agenda is the key and even though the government is changed, the commitment of the EU agenda has not changed.
“Kosovo deserves a fighting chance for the EU membership, there is no alternative,” stated Krasniqi.
“Kosovo is committed to the EU facilitated dialogue with Serbia,” he said, adding that the dialogue needs to have an end date.
On a similar note, member of the Macedonia’s Assembly, Artan Grubi, stated that the position and the opposition in Macedonia remain committed to becoming a full-fledged member of the EU and NATO.
Grubi stated that it is important for Macedonia to have good neighbourly relations with the countries of the region.
He pointed out that the EU would not be complete without the region.
As for Montenegro, its MP Andrija Vuksanović stated that Montenegro hopes that it will become a member of the EU even before 2025, since recent Junker’s announcement for the successful accession of Serbia and Montenegro.
“We are strongly committed to regatta principle, and we believe that each country should be judged by its own results,” stated Vuksanović.
Member of Serbian Parliament, Milorad Mijatović, stated that Serbia, as well as other countries of the region, takes part in improving the regional cooperation.
“We believe that our region should be the region of stability and dialogue,” Mijatović said.
He also addressed the Junker’s strategy, saying that it is good that Serbia, together with Montenegro, received a timeline of a possible membership, adding that accession to the EU is a strategic goal of Serbia.
Other politicians also made remarks on the matter; by and large all reassuring that the EU will not be complete without the Balkan countries.