Brdo-Brijuni statement: “The EU is capable of absorbing the World Bank”, Serbian wording of point on regional borders rejected
BRDO – At the Brdo summit near Kranj in Slovenia, the leaders of the Brdo-Brijuni process, which brings together the states of the Western Balkans, Croatia and Slovenia, adopted a declaration confirming their commitment to the expansion of the European Union, following the joint meeting.
The statement said that the EU’s absorption capacity was sufficient to accept the Western Balkans as new members and that the leaders called for the acceleration of the enlargement process, including the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia as soon as possible.
Leaders also welcome Slovenia’s intention to hold an EU-Western Balkans summit during its Council presidency.
However, the process for adopting the document was the subject of disagreements.
“There were arguments, misunderstandings. Let’s say Kosovo President Osmani’s agenda was a bit more ambitious and because of Serbia’s opposition some parts simply had to be lowered. I consider this to be a very acceptable price for a quality document, ”said President of Croatia Zoran Milanović who, together with Slovenian President Pahor, hosted the meeting, Radio Free Europe reports.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said Serbia’s proposal, in which countries would support the principle of not changing borders “in accordance with the UN resolution”, was not accepted. Vučić said last week that he proposed this amendment to the Declaration, but that it was rejected on the grounds that Kosovo would be considered part of Serbia according to this formulation.
Due to this disagreement, regional borders were only mentioned in the context of their diminishing importance in the perspective of future European integration.
In addition to the Presidents of Slovenia, Croatia, Kosovo and Serbia, the summit brought together their counterparts from Albania and North Macedonia – Ilir Meta and Stevo Pendarovski, as well as members of the Presidency from Bosnia and Herzegovina , Milorad Dodik, Šefik Džaferović and Željko Komšić.
Statement: with EU membership, borders become less important
“We, the leaders of the Brdo-Brijuni process, advocate a common strategic vision of Europe, as a whole, free and at peace. We underline our commitment to peace and stability, including good neighborly relations, ”reads the Declaration adopted by the leaders.
He stresses that the Western Balkans are part of Europe and that without it European integration cannot be completed.
“With accession to the European Union, the borders between member states become less important, which offers a wider space for the coexistence of a plurality of national identities”, the document reads.
Enlargement of the EU to include all of the Western Balkans is the political, security and economic interest of the EU, a geopolitical necessity and an essential political condition for a stable, prosperous and sustainable future of Europe.
Through a more ambitious and targeted enlargement process, the EU should engage more actively with all the Western Balkans to encourage them to fulfill the well-established necessary conditions for EU membership as soon as possible.
The Declaration highlighted the areas of rule of law, democratization and the economy as necessary reforms that must be implemented “faster and more effectively”.
“The EU’s absorption capacity is sufficient to accept the Western Balkans as new members,” the statement stressed.
The leaders said they strongly advocated the opening of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia as a matter of urgency, as well as the removal of the visa regime for the entire region (with Kosovo being the only country without visa-free access to the EU).
“We welcome Slovenia’s intention to organize an EU-Western Balkans summit during its Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and its intention to involve the Western Balkans in the conference on the future of the EU. ‘Europe, which kicked off on May 9, 2021,’ the Declaration reads.
Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the Brdo-Brioni process on the occasion of its 10th anniversary.
“Since its inception, the Brdo-Brioni process has contributed significantly to strengthening good neighborly relations and regional cooperation. In addition, it has become a platform for honest and open conversations between leaders, ”the Declaration read.
Pahor and Milanović confirm the difficulties of formulating the document
Slovenia’s President Borut Pahor said the President of Serbia had tried to start a discussion on changing borders that would prevent recognition of Kosovo’s independence, FoNet reports.
Noting that Vučić and the President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, met for the first time today, Pahor said that the dialogue on the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Priština continues.
“Vjosa Osmani came up with a very ambitious program, but we managed to find some kind of compromise,” Pahor said.
The President of Croatia, Zoran Milanović, said they had managed to “drive the ship into the port without injuring themselves”.
“We are here to help the countries of the region to come closer to the European Union because it is also in the interest of Croatia and Slovenia,” said Milanović, announcing that the next summit of the Brdo- Brijuni would be held in Pristina. or Belgrade.