EC Head Presents New Growth Plan for Western Balkans | Beta Briefing

EC Head Presents New Growth Plan for Western Balkans

Source: Beta
Archive / News | 31.05.23 | access_time 17:42

Ursula von der Leyen (BETAPHOTO/STA/Mathieu Cugnot/MO)

The president of the European Commission (EC), Ursula von der Leyen, presented a new growth plan for the Western Balkans at the GLOBSEC forum in Bratislava on May 31, by which the region that is aspiring to join the EU would be offered some advantages of membership in advance, providing that the region fulfills certain conditions in advance, and greater pre-accession aid.

Von der Leyen stated that, with the war going on in Ukraine, the EU had realized that it was no longer sufficient to just wait for, as she said, “our friends” outside the EU to come closer to the Union, but that Brussels also had to assume the responsibility for bringing the EU-aspiring countries much closer.

The new growth plan for the Western Balkans is built around four pillars – bringing the region closer to the EU Common Market, deepening regional economic integration, accelerating fundamental reforms and increasing the pre-accession funds. “To a certain extent, that is the new approach of the EU: We are not just asking our partners to make new steps towards us. We are also making a huge step towards them. Our common goal is to accelerate their path towards us. And this is why we are bringing the EU closer to the Western Balkans,” stated the EC head.

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