Timetable for enlargement is not a part of the declaration, but most of EU Member States have shown the will that over the next decade the Union will focus on the membership of the Western Balkans said Slovenian PM Janez Janša while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said to the reporters at the Brdoi Summit on Wednesday that she had rejected calls to set a date for the accession of Western Balkans countries into the European Union, Reuters reported.
“I don’t really believe in setting dates, I believe in making good on our promises: Once the conditions are met the accession can take place,” Merkel told the reporters.
In the meantime the participant leaders adopted the 'Brdo Declaration', which includes the sentence “the EU reconfirms its commitment to the enlargement process and its decisions taken thereon, based upon credible reforms by partners, fair and rigorous conditionality and the principle of own merits.”
PM of Slovenia Janez Janša said that it was clear that the EU is proving with concrete steps that the WB are still in the context of the Thessaloniki decision. Many crises followed after that decision, also in the EU itself, which also meant delays, he said. “Timetable for enlargement is not a part of the declaration, but I think that most of EU Member States have shown the will that over the next decade we will focus on the EU membership in the Western Balkans”, Janša said. Reforming the Union, internal reforms in the Western Balkans and the resolution of bilateral issues are the three process that need to run in parallel in the next decade.
"EU is not complete without the Western Balkans. We want the WB in the EU and there can not be any doubt that our goal is enlargement”, said President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. She highlighted the Economic and Investment Plan and its role and forwarding the Regional Economic Areas.
Talking about the reforms in the key areas, von der Leyen said that “our partners are not there yet, but they have made much progress and now it is time to stay the course”. It was important today to clarify the process to find the key issues in the bilateral topics between Bulgaria and North Macedonia and make sure that there is a roadmap for practical steps, she said. / Argumentum.al