EU perspective for W.Balkans clear, determination needed to make it reality
Dublin (24th May) – The progress of the candidate and aspirant countries from the Western Balkans as well as the current challenges in the enlargement process were the main topics Commissioner Štefan Füle was talking about in Dublin on Friday. He attended the conference ogranised by the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU dedicated to the ten years since the EU-Western Balkans summit in Thessaloniki.
"There is a clear perspective of European integration for all the countries in the region. The hard work that has been done, especially since the December European Council, means that this year is a year of opportunities," Commissioner Füle stressed in his opening remarks and added: "It is however for the candidate countries to be aware of the opportunities and to make the full use of the momentum that has been created. That means stepping up the efforts to deliver on the rule of law, to address bilateral issues and to deal with economic difficulties."
The aim of the conference is to reflect on progress made over the last 10 years, the difficulties encountered and the outlook for completion of the project. It is also an opportunity to consider changes in EU policy both towards enlargement in general and the Western Balkans in particular, post-Lisbon and in light of the euro crisis.
See the full opening speech here
See speech on future of enlargement and EU crisis here.