From: Exit Staff
Western Balkan Countries Call for ‘Concrete Results’ in EU Enlargement

The Western Balkans Speakers of Parliament and the European Parliament supported the drafting of a new methodology for enlargement, and called on the EU leaders to “urgently […] give new impetus to the enlargement process by delivering concrete results” at the Zagreb Summit in May 2020.

Speakers from all Western Balkans countries met in Brussels yesterday, in the first summit of this kind a summit, at the invitation of EP President David Sassoli. They were joined by the Speaker of the Parliament of Croatia, which is holding the rotating Council Presidency.

The summit focused on the region’s integration into the European Union, including the opening of accession talks for Albania and North Macedonia, as well as on economic development for the entire region. Speakers of Parliament signed a joint declaration at the end of the summit.

“In our joint declaration, we call on the European Council to continue supporting the European perspective of the Western Balkans based on the fulfilment of the accession criteria and give an unambiguous and positive political message on opening of accession negotiations and granting of candidate status. We urgently need to give new impetus to the enlargement process by delivering concrete results. The Zagreb Summit should play a key role in this respect,” President Sassoli said in a statement after the meeting.

The participating leaders reiterated their support for a “renewed approach” to enlargement in order for the process to become more democratic, more transparent and closer to the citizens and civil society.

The European Council is expected to present a new methodology for the EU enlargement, which Albania and North Macedonia hope will enable them to open EU talks at the Zagreb Summit in May 2020.