President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said on Oct. 6 that the European Union (EU) wanted to send a very clear message from the summit in Brdo near Kranj that the Western Balkans belonged in the Union and the family of European nations.
"We share a history and the same values, and I'm deeply convinced that we share a destiny, too," von der Leyen said when she joined the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Slovenia. She said that the states of the region had come a long way, invested enormous efforts and carried out reforms, but that they had yet a lot to do, especially in the areas of rule of law, judiciary and freedom of the media.
The EC president underlined the importance of the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, which as she put it was supposed to contribute to the integration of a shared regional market.
Before the summit, von der Leyen and the president of the European Council, Charles Michel had a meeting with Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa, his North Macedonian counterpart, Zoran Zaev, and Bulgarian President Rumen Radev.