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Miroslav Lajčák in Berlin on the Importance of EU Enlargement

Miroslav Lajčák in Berlin on the Importance of EU Enlargement

16.1.2020 | Aktivity ministra

The main item on the agenda of the short visit of the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic to Berlin was to speak at the international event, Strategic Challenges of the European Union in the Western Balkans Region in 2020. The chief Slovak diplomat delivered his remarks during the initial panel of the event in which the panellists exchanged their opinions on the main risks and challenges of the Common European Foreign Policy in the integration processes in the Western Balkans. “The upcoming months will be key for the relations between the EU and the countries of the Western Balkans. We should be seeking to find a new consensus on the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and Macedonia, improve the enlargement policy, and prepare the May summit of the EU with the countries of this region,” emphasized the Chief of Slovak diplomacy. The event was organized by an independent NGO Deutsche Gesellschaft fűr Aussenpolitik and the international think-tank, the European Council on Foreign Relations with the seat in Berlin.

 

Addressing the participants of the event that targets independent experts from NGOs and state administration, Minister Lajčák also pointed to the risks which the EU would face if it does not send a clear signal to the countries of the Western Balkans. “We should be aware that enlargement is a positive agenda. However, lately I often get the sense as if enlargement were regarded as a problem,” he emphasized. According to the minister, the Western Balkans is a region where the EU must demonstrate its clout. ”If not in the Western Balkans, then where?” he asked. “We often rely on communication strategies, forgetting that the people in the region of the Western Balkans read the complexity of our signals,” concluded the chief Slovak diplomat. He further said that the upcoming period must be used to restore trust in the EU enlargement process.

 

Minister Lajčák flew from Berlin to Lithuania, where he will deliver his remarks as a keynote speaker at the Snow Meeting security conference in Trakai.