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Renewed call for continuation of EU enlargement to Western Balkans at Bled Strategic Forum

The stalled process of EU enlargement to the Western Balkans was one of the topics debated at the Bled Strategic Forum (BSF) panel on the future of Europe.

The panellists called for a continuation of the enlargement process as a matter of strategic importance. The debate was prompted by Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, who assessed there was no enthusiasm for the enlargement process, and that he would like to see the EU providing some clarity to the Western Balkans. EU Parliament President David Sassoli said now was the time to inject new energy into the enlargement process, which he hopes the Slovenian EU presidency can contribute to. European Council President Charles Michel said that Serbia needed more investments from the EU and that the bloc indeed wanted to deliver concrete projects that would be visible for Serbian people.

Crucial for EU enlargement is W Balkans’ integration in EU, panellists agree
While stressing the importance and benefits of the EU enlargement to the Western Balkans as a strategically important issue, leaders at a panel on the future of Europe and enlargement held as part of the Bled Strategic Forum agreed that integration of the region into the EU will be crucial. “The enlargement is a process that has its stages. It is a more of an administrative than a political process. However, what we should discuss is how the Western Balkans will become a part of the EU,” said European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi. President Borut Pahor was critical of the lack of progress in the case of North Macedonia, deeming this a “moral concern”.


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