Member states want Western Balkan countries to attend EU meetings even before accession to Union

EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

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Twelve EU Member States want six Western Balkan countries to attend the meetings aimed at defining the policy of the Union even before they become members of the EU, Srna news agency reported on Monday. 

Reuters reportedly came into possession of a document which reads that Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia have proposed holding of annual meetings with leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.  

In the twelve-point proposal, which was submitted to the European Commission at the end of January, the EU Member States explained that representatives of Western Balkan countries’ governments should attend the most important meetings dedicated to environment, healthcare, transport and foreign policy.

According to the document, this would be a step forward compared to ad-hoc meetings and ministerial breakfast meetings that the EU is offering to non-member partners.

These measures cost nothing, yet they would have a huge political influence and would be instrumental in improving the EU’s reputation in the region”, reads the proposal.

The document also called on the EU officials to pay more frequent visits to the region of Western Balkans.