Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"W. Balkans can't join EU in 2014"
30 March 2010 | 14:57 | Source: Beta
BUDAPEST -- Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Balazs said that the Greek proposal for getting all Western Balkans countries into the EU by 2014 is unrealistic.

Jadronković, Balazs, Jeremić in Budapest today (Beta)
Jadronković, Balazs, Jeremić in Budapest today (Beta)

However, he said that Hungary is ready to help in that goal.

Balazs met on Monday in Budapest with his Serbia and Croatian counterparts Vuk Jeremić and Gordan Jandroković, and Deputy Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas.

Balazs said that the ratification of the accession agreement with Croatia can begin in 2011, and that negotiations with Serbia and Montenegro will need several years.

Greece proposed that all Western Balkans countries should join the EU in 2014, symbolically on the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.

Balazs said that Croatia would be the only country that will definitely be able to enter the EU by then.

“We can strongly support this, because the EU cannot forget about the Balkans. If the Balkans lags behind, the region will become a destabilizing factor and then negative trends can begin. But, if the region catches a step towards the EU, then it will become a region for investments,” Balazs said.

He said that it is important to abolish travel visas for Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina, since this has already been done for Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia.

Jeremić, Jandroković and Balazs will hold a joint press conference on Tuesday, after which they will be meeting with Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom.

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