Declaration on bilateral issues adopted in Vienna

A declaration on bilateral issues has been included in the conclusions of the Summit on the Western Balkans held in Vienna, Austria.

Source: Tanjug
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The declaration was signed by regional foreign ministers who took part in the gathering.

Hedvig Morvai, executive director of the European Fund for the Balkans, told Tanjug that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Austria, after last year's summit in Berlin where the question of bilateral disputes in the Balkans was raised, gave the order to develop the study.

It was produced by the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG) and presented on Wednesday during the Forum on Civil Society, "and welcomed by all - so it was included in the Summit's conclusions," Morvai was quoted as saying.

The declaration gives concrete recommendations on how Western Balkan countries should deal with these issues.

The signatories took the obligation to solve all open bilateral issues in the spirit of good-neighborly relations and committed themselves not to place obstacles before each other on the path of EU integration, and not to raise these questions in a way that would block the other, but instead deal with the issues early enough in the process of integration.

Accepting all that the region's countries have done so far in improving the internal situation, it was concluded that more effort is needed to accelerate domestic reform processes primarily when it comes to the rule of law, management of the economy and public administration reform and the fight against corruption and organized crime.

The declaration stated that, although there has been progress in achieving a regional cooperation structure in recent years, it takes more effort to resolve bilateral disputes.

The document calls for concrete steps by political leaders in the Western Balkans towards lasting reconciliation in the region, "which is essential for stability and support to the creation of a South-East Europe are able to overcome the legacy of the past."

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