Regional leaders: EU enlargement must continue

BRDO PRI KRANJU -- The final goal and common vision of the countries of the region is to see the entire Western Balkans join the EU, an informal summit held in Slovenia concluded.

(Beta)
(Beta)

Therefore the enlargement process has to continue following Croatia's membership, read the conclusions adopted by regional leaders who gathered in Brdo pri Kranju on Thursday.

“Together, we want to show that outstanding issues can be resolved through political dialogue and honoring the international obligations that have been assumed. We are ready to change the view that the countries of the Western Balkans cannot solve bilateral problems among themselves.

“We want to say to our citizens that mutual understanding, cooperation and partnership can lead to compromise solutions and a safer and more prosperous life for each and every one of them,” the conclusions read.

The leaders stated that the enlargement process remains a driving force for all and all the countries of the region are ready to implement serious structural and economic reforms helping them become more competitive and better integrated into the single European market.

“A look at the current situation in the Western Balkans shows that the region has already gone through considerable positive changes that have greatly contributed to the stabilization and economic and social progress of the region,” according to the conclusions.

The countries of the region agreed about the importance of leading political dialogues with the EU and expressed readiness to strengthen stability, cooperation, good neighborly relations, compromise and exchange of experience in resolving outstanding issues in line with European practice.

They also expressed their readiness to implement social processes and build mutual trust in the region, and create the conditions for reconciliation and efficient regional cooperation.

The countries in the region pledged to support and assist each other in the enlargement process and highlighted the importance of harmonizing their legislation with the EU acquis and strengthening infrastructure integration through joint projects.

Slovenia and Croatia will remain committed to facilitating the enlargement process and playing an active role in representing the views of the region in Brussels.

The next informal meeting of regional leaders will be held in Croatia.