Outgoing EU High Representative Federica Mogherini urged the EU to maintain a strong presence in the Western Balkans achieving a clear interest of the region’s EU accession, Tanjug news agency reports.
In her address at the annual conference of EU Ambassadors in Brussels, she assessed that the accession of the Western Balkans in the EU is an issue of a reintegration of the whole European continent and that it is necessary for the Balkans, as well as the EU.
“We have a clear interest for the whole Balkans to access the EU. We all know that it is a long, complicated, ever so interesting and lively process which will require a lot of time, resolution of problems and political commitment of all sides, as well as determination”, Mogherini emphasized.
She gave the example of a successful resolution of the issue of the name of the North Macedonia, assessing that it was achieved with the commitment of Athens and Skopje and a constant support and encouragement of the EU. “The same goes for entire Balkans. We will require courage, leadership and determination, as well as maintaining a constant presence, every single day”, she said.
Head of EU diplomacy thinks that this kind of EU engagement in the Balkans will lead to final achievement of all possibilities the continent has to offer. “It is, at the very top, the reconciliation. This is the only area in which enlargement is returned to its original values of the formation of the EU, which is the establishment of peace in the places scared by a war”, Mogherini remarked.
She assessed that states that waged war against one another only 20 years ago, can reach real reconciliation and peace, with the assistance of EU perspective. “There is also the issue of economic progress, trade, social development, security. Balkans will only benefit from this, along with all of us. We need this. EU needs this”, Federica Mogherini pointed out.
Outgoing head of the EU diplomacy had also remarked while addressing the ministers that it is time to take, with “wisdom and perseverance, the next step towards uniting the European family.” “I am convinced that, if we do not do that, we will be sorry in a couple of years”, Federica Mogherini concluded.
Federica Mogherini also stated during her address that she leaves the Union “in good hands”. She assessed that Joseph Borrell, newly appointed head of EU diplomacy is an excellent minister and hopefully, he will be an excellent High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.