Borrell: Europe Is Not Complete without the Western Balkans | Beta Briefing

Borrell: Europe Is Not Complete without the Western Balkans

Source: Beta
News / Politics | 24.06.24 | access_time 09:07

Josep Borrell, Ohrid, March 18 2023 (BETAPHOTO/EMIL VAS)

High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said on June 21 that Europe was not complete until the Western Balkans became part of it, and that it was necessary to accelerate the enlargement process, which had been delayed for too long.

"Previous enlargement was a success story. Further enlargement will also be a success story. The problem is that it has been delayed for much too long. Now we need to speed it up. Let's not forget that Europe is not complete until [the Western Balkans] become members," he said in a speech at the Europe Forum in the Austrian town of Wachau, after receiving the Alois Mock Award.

The award was presented to him at the conference by Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg. Borrell underlined that while the keyword of the first wave of EU enlargement had been “market”, today it was “security.”

Schallenberg said that the Western Balkans were the Union’s closest neighbors "culturally, psychologically and emotionally." "There is no doubt, and I believe we can agree on this, that the Western Balkans are already part of the European family, they belong to it. I am always tough on those who say that this region is the Union's backyard; that is completely wrong. We are not complete until they are part of our family, and we must accelerate this process," said Schallenberg.

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