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Western Balkans' integration remains priority - EU official

Author Radomir Ralev
Western Balkans' integration remains priority - EU official Author: Radomir Ralev

SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), May 13 (SeeNews) - The integration of the Western Balkans into the European Union remains a priority despite the ardent public debate in some member states, the Director-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Christian Danielsson, said.

"The European perspective is something that was agreed by the member states and is going to be clearly repeated in June," Danielsson said during a discussion held in the framework of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's (EBRD) Annual Meeting & Business Forum in Sarajevo last week.

The meeting of the European Council will take place on June 20 and 21.

The member states will make decisions on the integration of the Western Balkans depending on the fulfillment of the conditions that have been put in place, Danielsson said.

"For the future, a credible integration strategy is essential."

The public debate on the EU integration of the countries of the Western Balkans is lively in many member states, but the same happened prior to the accession of other countries such as Croatia or even Sweden, Danielsson noted at the event. 

"However, an enlargement is what the member states, together, have agreed and set out as a policy direction," he added.

In February 2018, the European Commission adopted a strategy for supporting the EU integration of the Western Balkans, focusing on the need for fundamental reforms and good neighbourly relations. The strategy document explains the steps that need to be taken by Montenegro and Serbia to complete the accession process with a 2025 perspective, the only two countries with which accession talks are already underway.