The integration of the Western Balkans into Europe means fundamental not territorial changes, Regional Cooperation Council Secretary General Majlinda Bregu said on Tuesday, BETA news agency reports.
“The European Union is the most important force in the region in the promotion of democracy, rule of law and respect for human and minority rights. EU expansion policy has had real influence in shaping real opportunities in the region,” Bregu told the 16th Vienna Congress.
Regional Cooperation Council statement quoted her as saying that the focus should be on the democratic transformation of the region.
“The manner of communication and focus should move from a date to join the EU, groundless fear or weariness of expansion and onto a real democratic transformation of the Western Balkans. A reinforced Western Balkans will speak a language of unity which will influence the region‘s economic development,“ Bregu added.
According to Regional Cooperation Council polls in 2018, EU membership has the highest support in Kosovo (84 percent) and Albania (83) while 59 percent of the populations of Macedonia and 53 percent of Montenegro support EU membership. She said that 45 percent of the population of Bosnia-Herzegovina want membership while Serbia is the only country in the region where more people have a neutral view of EU membership (39 percent) than want to join the EU (29 percent), the statement said.