Scholz calls for Western Balkan countries to join the EU

abroad EU enlargement

Scholz calls for Western Balkan countries to join the EU

Scholz sees ‘realistic prospects’ for Serbia and Kosovo’s EU membership

Olaf Scholz called on Serbia and Kosovo to settle their differences in order to pave the way for EU membership. EU membership is “a realistic prospect” for Serbia and Kosovo, he said during a meeting with Kosovar Prime Minister Kurti in Berlin.

According to Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s wishes, the Western Balkan countries should be admitted to the EU. “The Western Balkans are part of Europe,” said the SPD politician after a meeting with the Prime Minister of Kosovo. There should be visa facilitation for the small country.

Bundescancer Olaf Scholz advocates the accession of Western Balkan states to the EU: “The Western Balkans belong to Europe. All of its countries must also belong to the European Union in the future,” Scholz said Wednesday after meeting with Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti.

He pledged to have countries “create this very soon,” Scholz said. He also announced a trip to the Western Balkans in the second half. He will also invite the six Western Balkan countries to a meeting within the framework of the “Berlin process” to promote regional cooperation. Apart from Kosovo, the six countries also include Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Albania.

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Both politicians demanded that the EU grant visa liberalization to Kosovo. “I am committing to this with great emphasis”, underlined the Chancellor, alluding to the resistance of certain EU states. Kurti pointed out that the European Commission had already determined four years ago that Kosovo met all the conditions. He also demanded that the five EU states which, unlike Germany, have not yet recognized Kosovo’s independence, do so as soon as possible.

Scholz praised the reform efforts in Kosovo, especially in the fight against corruption. Kurti referred to very high growth figures of over ten percent. However, the World Bank had pointed out that growth in the Western Balkans would collapse significantly this year due to the effects of the Russian attack on Ukraine and the resulting sanctions and energy price increases, for example example.

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