Thursday, May 17, 2018
EU-Western Balkans summit: EU leaders adopt declaration
Leaders of the EU and its member states, in consultation with Western Balkans partners, adopted a 17-point declaration in Sofia on Tuesday.
SOURCE: TANJUG THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2018 | 15:21
It "reaffirms EU's unequivocal support for the European perspective of the Western Balkans," and states tasks and principles the sides should meet during the process of EU integration.
An annex to the declaration has also been adopted, related to strengthening ties and cooperation between the EU and the Western Balkans.
"The EU welcomes the shared commitment of the Western Balkans partners to European values and principles, and to the vision of a strong, stable and united Europe, underpinned by our historic, cultural and geographic ties and by our mutual political, security and economic interests," it is stated in the first point of the document.
"Recalling the Thessaloniki Summit of 2003, the EU reaffirms its unequivocal support for the European perspective of the Western Balkans. Building on the progress achieved so far, the Western Balkans partners have recommitted to the European perspective as their firm strategic choice, to reinforcing their efforts and mutual support. The credibility of these efforts depends on clear public communication," the declaration continued.
It is stated that he EU is "determined to strengthen and intensify its engagement at all levels to support the region's political, economic and social transformation, including through increased assistance based on tangible progress in the rule of law, as well as in socio-economic reforms, by the Western Balkans partners."
"The EU welcomes the Western Balkans partners commitment to the primacy of democracy and the rule of law, especially the fight against corruption and organized crime, good governance, as well as respect for human rights and rights of persons belonging to minorities. Their effective implementation of reforms rests on these foundations. Civil society and independent media play a crucial role in the process of democratization," said the declaration.
The EU further "supports the Western Balkans partners pledge to continue strengthening good neighborly relations, regional stability and mutual cooperation."
"This includes in particular finding and implementing definitive, inclusive and binding solutions for their bilateral disputes rooted in the legacy of the past and devoting additional efforts to reconciliation," the declaration stated, among other things.