Western Balkans leaders seek European perspective and a more active EU in the region


WB Prime Ministers adopted a joint statement at the Summit in Sarajevo stressing that European perspective was key to mutual cooperation and progress of both individual countries and the entire region.

Summit host, the Chair of BiH Council of Ministers Denis Zvizdic said that the initiatives proposed by officials from Serbia, BiH, Monenegro, Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo at today’s meeting were partially fed into the joint statement.

“Our message is that we want the EU to remain fully commitment to the European perspective of the Western Balkans, we want a more active participation and frequent presence of EU officials as well as a larger volume of investment in the Western Balkans,” Zvizdic said at the press conference following the Summit.

Zvizdic said that participants in the meeting proposed projects which should be implemented in each of the Western Balkans countries, above all in the area of transport and energy, with the support from the EU.

Hahn: Issues remain but there is overall progress of the region on the EU integration path


European Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn said that short and mid-term effects of such initiatives would be the creation of 80,000 jobs, according to conservative estimates.

He congratulated the Prime Ministers on, as he put it, “the first meeting of WB leaders held in the Western  Balkans” describing it as a grand gesture and a sign of the progress made.

“Issues remain, but seen in the long run, there is overall progress of the region on the EU integration path,” European Commissioner said.

Hahn said that he once again reassured Prime Minister about the “hard-headed self-interest” of the EU to work on further integration of the Western Balkans.

“In order to achieve that goal we have to work more and today we discussed how to make that process visible so that citizens can feel the benefits derived from cooperation with the EU which should boost prosperity and citizens’ individual prospects and simply bring them more money,” Hahn said.


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