European Council President: We are ready to mobilize a lot of Money for the Western Balkans

European Council President, Charles Michel, arrived at the summit of the European Union (EU) and the countries of the Western Balkans.

He emphasized that the EU will confirm at that summit that the countries of the region have the possibility of joining the EU, but that they must implement reforms.

To recall, there has been speculation that the enlargement will not be mentioned because the declaration is not harmonized. Butthat turned out to be false.

“Today we have the opportunity to hold a summit with the countries of the Western Balkans. It will be an opportunity for us to reaffirm the European perspective of the Western Balkans. On the other hand, it will be an opportunity to make it clear that we are ready to mobilize a lot of money for investments, but also to support reforms,” Michel said yesterday.

He mentioned it was about economic reforms, the fight against corruption, and other reforms that would improve governance.

“We want closer relations with these countries and this will be an opportunity for free and open discussion,” Michel noted, writes.

“The first very important point is fundamental values: rule of law and the fight against corruption. It is the DNA of our European project. It is also an important topic amongst the 27 member states. On a regular basis, we have discussion and political debate on this topic to see how we can make progress and ensure that we all follow and all respect the fundamental principles. This is key because it is the choice we want for member states, but it is also the choice that the governments of the Western Balkan countries want for their citizens,” he added

“Second, and this is paramount, is the link between the reforms that are needed — as we would like to anchor the reforms in those countries — and the investments. The Commission took a fundamental decision by providing an unprecedented amount of money to connect the WB to our EU priorities, in order to also facilitate and encourage regional cooperation in this region that is key for the future. And you know our current priorities: the green deal and the digital agenda. We hope that these investments will make the EU’s presence more visible and tangible for the people in those countries, so they can see the concrete benefits of this partnership with the EU,” he concluded.


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