Western Balkans Summit: extracts from the common press conference by Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor, Edi Rama, Albanian Prime Minister, and José Manuel Barroso

Type: Summary of press conference   Reference: I-092081   Duration: 10:04:49  Lieu:
End production: 28/08/2014   First transmission: 28/08/2014
On 28 August 2014, José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, attended the Western Balkans summit in Berlin, Germany, preceded by a bilateral meeting with Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor. Together with Edi Rama, Albanian Prime Minister, they gave a joint press conference where the President reiterated the EU's commitment to the European perspective of all Western Balkan countries and support for the accession process. On this occasion, he also stressed that the speed of reforms for further accessions.

Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
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TIME DESCRIPTION DURATION
10:00:00 Title 00:00:05
10:00:05 Arrival of Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor, Edi Rama, Albanian Prime Minister, and José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, to the Western Balkans Conference in Berlin, Germany 00:00:05
10:00:10 Soundbite by Angela Merkel (in GERMAN) saying that what they are trying to address here is finding a solution to the political problems between Serbia and Kosovo and they made tremendous progress and what they also want to look at is the possibility of forming a government after the elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina; in these two areas for example they hope that they will make progress in the next 3 years to come. 00:00:25
10:00:36 Cutaway of the speakers 00:00:04
10:00:40 Soundbite by Angela Merkel (in GERMAN) saying that what is also come out in the discussion today is regional cooperation, fostering this kind of cooperation for example infrastructure projects so that people get an opportunity to meet as so that the business communities and the individual countries can cooperate; this is something that they have also looked at apart from for example the possibility of setting up a youth exchange programme amongst those countries. 00:00:27
10:01:08 Soundbite by Edi Rama (in ENGLISH): I'm happy that we agreed today that this becomes regular gatherings so that we may continue to deepen the bonds between the EU and the Western Balkans as we now continue to take the steps to join what has been a hugely successful political union of democracies. 00:00:22
10:01:30 General view of the conference with Edi Rama, Angela Merkel and José Manuel Barroso 00:00:03
10:01:33 Soundbite by Edi Rama (in ENGLISH): All the Balkans countries today commit ourselves to continuing along the path of reform so that, one day, we may join you as part of the European family of nations. There is still a long way to go but considering that this year as the centenary anniversary of the 1st world war approached, it is the very first year in our common history with no conflicts between any of the Balkan countries. 00:00:32
10:02:06 General view of the conference with Edi Rama, Angela Merkel and José Manuel Barroso 00:00:03
10:02:10 Soundbite by Edi Rama (in ENGLISH): What I hope we have been able to do is to show that this is not a one way relationship where we ask and the EU says yes or no but one where we bring so much to the table, great human capital and economic potential in areas like tourism, energy and infrastructure. We know we have to do more in the area of transport and connectivity and we, together, should and will certainly do so. 00:00:32
10:02:42 Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): Our common goal is clear. We want to see the Western Balkan countries to ultimately join the European Union. This is in our joint political, economic and geo-strategic interest. This is the right way to defend the long term prosperity of all the citizens in our European family to defend also the European stability. Further accessions depend on our partners own speed of reforms. But they will happen over time. We don't want to leave any doubt about it. 00:00:35
10:03:18 General view of the conference with Edi Rama, Angela Merkel and José Manuel Barroso 00:00:03
10:03:22 Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): Progress along this European path is tangible and real, as last year's accession of Croatia showed, but also the recent important steps made by Serbia, Albania and Kosovo. The Commission is accompanying and supporting the countries of the Western Balkans on their European track. Strengthening the rule of law, facilitating regional cooperation, improving economic governance and public administration are essential in this regard. Of course, the responsibility for the key reforms lies in their own hands of the countries themselves. 00:00:38
10:04:00 Cutaway of the speakers 00:00:03
10:04:04 Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso (in ENGLISH): The EU will continue playing its leading part through targeted financial aid. Under our Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, the "IPA", almost 12 billion Euros in aid are foreseen for the period 2014-2020 so it is not just good intentions. 12 billion Euros is more than good intentions and twenty per cent of this funding will be targeted just for regional projects. More fundamentally, the very fact that we kept our financial commitment at a high level also in times of a financial crisis in Europe is a good demonstration of the dedication of the EU and its Member States to this region. 00:00:44
10:04:49 Angela Merkel, Edi Rama and José Manuel Barroso posing for the picture 00:00:06
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