Anastasiades: Bonds between the European Union and Western Balkans should grow stronger

Sense of humor’- Brexit Britain to persuade wannabe EU countries to join the bloc

Sense of humor’- Brexit Britain to persuade wannabe EU countries to join the bloc

She believes that this will be the Balkan countries with which negotiations were under way for membership.

Borissov, whose country now holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU, was speaking at a joint news conference on May 17 with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who both hailed the Sofia Summit as successful. "Building on the progress achieved so far, the Western Balkans partners have recommitted to the European perspective as their firm strategic choice, to reinforcing their efforts and mutual support", it added.

While the European Union side reaffirmed its determination "to strengthen and intensify its engagement at all levels to support the region's political, economic and social transformation" in the Sofia Summit Declaration, the focus lay elsewhere.

The statement said the European Union is determined to strengthen and intensify its engagement at all levels to support the region's political, economic and social transformation, including through increased assistance based on tangible progress in the rule of law, as well as in socio-economic reforms, by the Western Balkans partners. Serbia also signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Investment Bank, as well as issued a joint statement on the construction of the Bulgaria-Serbia gas interconnector.


The EU welcomes the Western Balkans partners commitment to the primacy of democracy and the rule of law, especially the fight against corruption and organised crime, good governance, as well as respect for human rights and rights of persons belonging to minorities. "And patience because also on the European Union side you need to have the right window of opportunity to take the decision", said a senior European Union official. "No alternatives, no plan B. the Western Balkans are an integral part of Europe and they are part of our community", he wrote, being on the summit in Sofia.

"I believe that it took us too long since our last meeting in Thessaloniki 15 years ago, and this is why we made a decision to meet again in two years in Croatia".

Without a "European perspective", the Balkans risk falling back into the "misfortunes we saw in the 90s" when Yugoslavia was tearing itself apart, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker warned last week.

"The President of the Republic, on the sidelines of the Synod, also had the opportunity to hold a private meeting with the President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Makron, with whom he discussed the ongoing upgrading of Cyprus's bilateral relations with France and the cooperation of many sectors". We discussed how to improve links - economic, digital, infrastructural - with the region.

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