The EU-Western Balkans summit in Slovenia represented a step forward in European integration, the participants of an on-line debate assessed on Oct. 14 and concurred that it was important that such meetings would become regular, but also that Brussels ' communication with the countries in the region had to improve.
The head of the European Integration Section of the EU Delegation in Serbia, Andrea Hochhuber, stated that the Oct. 6 summit in the Brdo near Kranj was "definitely a step forward" and that the agreement about holding such meetings regularly reflected the region's strategic importance.
Speaking at the on-line conference "EU-Western Balkans Brdo Summit – No progress, or a step forward?", Hochhuber stressed that the rule of law was at the center of the EU's engagement with the region and that it consequently had a high priority in the declaration that was adopted at the summit. "Rule of law also holds a prominent place in the Economic and Investment Plan, because investors only come to places where rule of law is secured, because they only want to invest if they can rely on the judicial system and pluralist media," Hochhuber stated.
She said the EU hoped another inter-governmental conference with Serbia and Montenegro would be held during Slovenia's presidency and that the EU supported the opening of clusters for Serbia, adding that important technical work had been completed.