Together with the Friends of the Western Balkans, a group of seven EU members supporting the region’s EU accession, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg launched an initiative to curb the influence of China and Russia in South East Europe (SEE), and build closer ties between the Balkans and the European Union (EU).
The initiative should be useful for both sides. It should make it possible for EU candidate countries to articulate their demands more clearly, while strengthening solidarity and European unity over foreign policy issues, which, as the APA agency reported, some of them had not expressed yet.
“It should secure alignment with the Union’s joint foreign and security policy,” says a document presented at a Nov. 13 meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.
The non-paper also demands that the Western Balkans should attend the meetings of EU foreign ministers at least once in six months.
The document also suggests that the region’s representatives should participate in informal meetings of EU ambassadors, proposing also more coordinated visits to the Western Balkans and the adoption of a common vocabulary for third countries.