High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini hosted an informal gathering of the Western Balkans leaders on Wednesday in Brussels.
The meeting was attended by Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina Denis Zvizdic, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, President of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, and Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn.
Looking back at the important progress made in the region in 2018, leaders agreed on the need to build on this progress and continue to focus on their respective European Union paths and the necessary internal reforms.
Mogherini underlined that now, more than ever, the Western Balkan partners should work together to advance the shared objective of the EU integration, to consolidate peace and security and to strengthen regional cooperation, for the benefit of all the people in the region.
Chairman of the Council of Ministers of BiH Denis Zvizdic used the opportunity to affirm the country’s commitment to the values of the European Union.
“During this meeting, we have focused on the issues of regional cooperation that we believe is very important. We have noticed that regardless of certain progress, especially in terms of economic development, and regardless of some positive steps that every country has made on the EU or NATO integration path, certain topics, actions or decisions from the past - which somehow violate the international law and signed agreements - have been keeping the entire region of the Western Balkans in status quo”, Zvizdic told reporters after the meeting.
“It was announced that our newly-elected members of the Presidency will visit Brussels, probably in the second half of January. That will be the opportunity for us to submit the answers to follow-up questions from the European Commission, thus fully completing our obligations. Then, we will wait to hear about our candidate status”, the BiH CoM Chairman concluded.
Western Balkan leaders committed to work to further the region’s integration in the EU in a spirit of good neighborly relations and reconciliation, refraining from all actions and statements that are not conducive to the overall interests and strategic objectives of the region.