Message from the western Balkans to the European Union


Gathered in Ohrid, North Macedonia, the western Balkan countries have sent a clear message to the European Union. They consider joining the EU as a strategic objective for which there is no alternative. Despite the disagreement on several issues, several nations agreed to promote a regional economic space that allows for more effective cooperation.

"The Action Plan provides for the uninterrupted activity of our borders. It allows full circulation, with an identity document, for citizens throughout the region. It allows conditions that will mean fast roads for trucks that cross our borders," says the first Minister of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev.

The promoters of the initiative try to convince other nations to join the project. Montenegro, whose representative at the meeting has been its Minister of Economy, did not support the idea.

"We have to wait. We have to evaluate the initiative and see if it is a project that entails added value or if it involves a loss of energy before another parallel initiative," says Dragica Sekulic, Minister of Economy of Montenegro.

Kosovo did not attend the meeting. Its president believes that the project, known as miniSchengen, is an alternative to EU membership. Edi Rama hopes that the Kosovar authorities will be present at the next meeting, which will take place in Albania.

"I want it. I think that once the new government is formed and once the institutions reach their normal pace of activity, the Kosovo authorities will come to Albania and we will continue to work together," says Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.

"The next working meeting will be held on December 21. The countries of the Western Balkans are waiting for a positive signal to encourage their prospects of joining the EU. They were questioned after the last session of the European Council. In it, no a decision was reached on the start of the accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania, "says Borjan Jovanovski, Euronews correspondent in Ohrid.

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