The region of Western Balkans has a special role in Europe and for Europe, and it is a region of geostrategic role for the European Union, EU foreign affairs ministers agreed on Monday (10.05) in what was said to be a “long discussion” on the Western Balkans. They also confirmed support for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The message that the minister sent today was clear said EU High Representative Josep Borrell in his press remarks following the meeting.
“They reaffirmed the European perspective of the whole region. But this is not only about the enlargement process. We want to ensure that we have a political engagement with our partners. From addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines, economic cooperation, connectivity, how to tackle external influence, reduce disinformation, just to name a few issues”, said Borrell, adding that the Union’s commitment to the Western Balkans needs to be “very visible” and leaving “no doubt in this respect.”
The ministers reached a “wide agreement” on the need for the Western Balkans to accelerate EU-related reforms and reinforce positive and constructive narratives.
As for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the ministers expressed strong support for the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
“The Ministers agreed on the need for Bosnia and Herzegovina to use this year to advance constitutional and electoral reform. We need to continue supporting these efforts through a daily engagement of our Special Representative in Sarajevo [Johann Sattler]”, said Borrell.
A day before the meeting, Borrell warned about the difficult situation in BiH and deteriorated political atmosphere. He described the recent virtual meeting with BiH Presidency members as “very difficult, with many attacks and recriminations.”