Special Report/ Slovenia's Pahor Says EU Enlargement Irreplaceable for Peace and Stability in WB

"I think that the EU enlargement towards the Balkans is not only geopolitical but irreplaceable for peace and stability in the region and in Europe as a whole. Together with the President of Albania, Ilir Meta and my friends, I will commit myself to give a strong convincing message on the importance of enlargement, which must be faster in the conclusions of the next summit of Brdo-Brijuni Process on May 17," has said President of Slovenia Borut Pahor.

President Pahor made this statement on Thursday at a joint press conference with his host, President Ilir Meta, after their meeting in the framework of his work visit to Tirana for the preparation of the next summit of the Brdo-Brijuni Process, which will be held on May 17, 2021.
The two presidents Meta and Pahor had a tete-a-tete meeting and then they gave a joint press conference, a press release by presidential press office said.

In his remarks, President Pahor touched on a hot issue in recent days, which has "ignited" discussions and debates after the publication of some documents called 'non-papers' which claim about border changes in the region. He said Slovenia has nothing to do with any such a 'non paper'.
Emphasizing the importance of further advancing the EU integration process for the countries of the Western Balkans, Pahor said that this would reduce the importance of the debate that has already been raised on borders. According to him, enlargement would reduce the importance of the new debate on border change in the Balkans, a process which in Pahor's view could not end peacefully.

"Borders between states become less important and there is no need to change them in EU membership," said Slovenian President. In his view, some thoughts discussed in the conversation with President Meta would serve for peace and stability in the region.
"We know from experience that border changes in this part of Europe do not take place without sacrifice. I believe that we, leaders of this part of Europe, but also the whole EU, have the moral and political obligation at this time which is not simple not only because of Covid but also due to the internal problems of the EU and the Balkans," he said.

For his part, President Meta said in the joint press conference that the relations between the two countries are excellent and Slovenia always remains an important regional partner, but also in the European Union for Albania.
"President Pahor reaffirmed that Slovenia and he remain staunch advocates of the full integration of the Western Balkan countries into the European Union, and of course staunch supporters of Albania's European integration," Meta said.

He added that Albania considers the Brdo-Brijuni Process and its contribution as a strategic instrument with added value.
During the meeting, President Pahor expressed his support that the upcoming Slovenian Presidency of the European Union will be a continuation of the priorities of the Brdo-Brijuni Process towards the countries of the Western Balkans, adding attention, support and giving a special impetus to the integration processes of enlargement of our region," said Meta.

He noted that together they expressed support and appreciation for the developments in Kosovo, and especially for the importance of the realization of visa liberalization for its citizens by the EU, and underlined the importance of continuation of the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue to reach a stable and mutually acceptable agreement for both parties.
"We shared the common stance with President Pahor that the future of the Western Balkan countries is only in the European Union, through closer regional cooperation and distancing from the bitter past. On this occasion, I once again thank President Pahor and Slovenia for the efforts to push the European Union for a geopolitical approach as soon as possible for the membership of all countries of our region," said President Meta. /argumentum.al