For the sixth time the EPP Group gathers MEPs, other EU politicians and political leaders from the Western Balkans close to our political family to take stock of the challenges before them on path towards Europe.
The Western Balkans are facing challenges in various fields: political, economic and social. Progress on good governance and the rule of law has been deficient in some cases; there is even a backslide in these areas. Economic development in some cases is also not satisfactory. But there are positive developments, too. For example, the EU-facilitated dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, the opening of negotiation chapters for Serbia, the accession of Montenegro to NATO, progress on justice reform in Albania, the new government in FYROM and more.
Organised by EPP Group Vice-Chair Mariya Gabriel, the “EU-Western Balkans: addressing challenges and using opportunities together” conference will be held on 6 June in the European Parliament. President of the EPP, Joseph Daul, Chairman of the EPP Group, Manfred Weber and EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn will take part. They will be joined by EPP Group MEPs Elmar Brok, Dubravka Suica, Cristian Dan Preda, Tunne Kelam, Eduard Kukan, David McAllister, Gunnar Hokmark, Andrey Kovatchev and others.
We expect the presence of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor Crnadak, State Secretary for European Integration of Montenegro, Aleksandar Andrija Pejovic, Serbian Minister of European Integration, Jadranka Joksimovic, President of VMRO-DPMNE, Nikola Gruevski, from FYROM, Vice-President of the Democratic League of Kosovo, Lufti Haziri from Kosovo* and a high-ranking representative of the Democratic party of Albania.
The meeting is closed to press, however there will be an opportunity for short statements after the conference at 17:15 on 6 June 2017 in front of room JAN6Q1 in the European Parliament. Videos and photos will be available afterwards.
(*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence)