Mogherini debriefs EU leaders on Western Balkans
BRUSSELS, March 6 – The situation in the Western Balkans is tense and the region is challenged on internal, regional and global levels, EU’s high representative, Federica Mogherini, said in Brussels following a visit to the Western Balkans.
In her remarks to the foreign ministers of European Union, Mogherini called for more convincing support from the block for the region’s integration.
“Balkan countries have the ability and the strength to move forward, therefore the credibility of the European Union must be promoted there,” she said, urging EU leaders to give a clear and strong determination toward the Western Balkans.
“The power of the European Union in the region is linked to the credibility of the EU integration process; and this is why I believe you will see also in the coming days in the European Council strong determination from member states to give a stronger credibility to this path,” she added.
Last week, Mogherini visited Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
During her stop in Tirana, EU foreign policy chief Mogherini stressed the need to implement the justice reform approved in consensus in mid-2016 to accelerate Albania’s path toward the EU.
“I believe that it is not because the European Union asked for it but because the Albanians ask for it: a more independent justice system, that there is a responsibility now for the institutions of this country to implement that reform with the same unity that they managed to find when they voted the reform in Parliament last July,” she told Tirana University students.
The top EU diplomat said that “the European Union is ready to open negotiations in a moment when the justice reform is started to be implemented and, in particular, the vetting process.”
“The European Union is ready to start the accession negotiations. Now it is up to the Albanian politics to start the judiciary reform concretely, by respecting the main condition, the Vetting Law,” Mogherini said.
EU leaders will meet on March 9-10 to discuss about the increased tensions in the Western Balkans and possible Russian influence and interference in the region.