On May 8-9th, President Ilir Meta will hosts the seventh Summit of the Brdo-Brijuni Process in Tirana. This year’s summit aims at conveying the firm aspirations of participating countries to be integrated and join the European Union.
Presidents of the Brdo-Brijuni Process countries (Albania, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) will be joined by guests of honor Andrzej Duda, President of Poland, and Federica Mogherini, chief of the EU foreign affairs and Vice-President of the European Commission.
The Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia initiated the Brdo-Brijuni Process in 2012, and its first summit was held in Slovenia in 2013. The process is named after two geographical locations in Slovenia and Croatia.
Its main aim is to support the European integration and stabilization of the Western Balkan countries by strengthening political dialogue, regional cooperation, establishing mutual trust and solving bilateral and regional issues. The initiative aims to put in place concrete mechanisms fostering cooperation beyond declarative conclusions of similar past initiatives.
The annual summit is hosted by the president of one of the member countries. In the sixth summit last year in Macedonia, leaders decided for the 2019 summit to be hosted by Albania. Each year, guests of honor from one of the leading EU countries are invited. Following is a chronology of all summits of the Brdo-Brijuni Process and the guests of honor attending them.
– In 2013, Slovenia, with President of France François Hollande as guest of honor;
– In 2014, Croatia, Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel;
– In 2015, Montenegro and Croatia, US Vice President Joe Biden, European Council President Donald Tusk and Austrian President Heinz Fischer;
– In 2016, Bosnia and Herzegovina, President of Italy Sergio Mattarella;
– In 2017, Slovenia, President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier;
– In 2018, Macedonia, President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and President of Bulgaria, Bojko Borisov were the guests of honor.
This year’s summit comes shortly after the Berlin Summit called by Chancellor Merkel and President Macron which focused on the Serbia-Kosovo frozen dialogue and Western Balkan countries integration into the EU. The Berlin Summit gave a blow to the idea of territorial swap between Serbia and Kosovo, and poured cold water on the Balkan countries’ hopes for immediate EU accession.
The Albanian branch of the Kosovo Self-Determination Movement has called for a protest on May 8th, at 18:00, against the presence of BiH Presidency Member Milorad Dodik and Serbia’s Alexandar Vučić in the Tirana summit. They accuse Dodik and Vučić of crimes against Albanians and territorial expansion aspirations in the region.