EU leaders stress importance of normalizing relations between Belgrade and Pristina
Partners from the region are also called upon to guarantee "the rights and equal treatment of persons belonging to minorities"
EU leaders adopted conclusions on the Western Balkans durig a summit in Brussels, calling for "accelerating the accession process" and "advancing the gradual integration" of the EU and the region, but also stressing the importance of progress in normalizing relations between Belgrade and Pristina.
The conclusions adopted on Thursday, the first day of the Brussels summit, state that the European Council "reaffirms the urgency of making tangible progress in resolving open bilateral and regional disputes" in the Western Balkans, among others through "the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue," with the goal of "normalizing relations between Serbia and Kosovo."
The text of the conclusions reiterates "unequivocal support of the EU for the perspective of Western Balkans membership" but also reminds of the importance of reforms in the Western Balkans, primarily in the area of the rule of law, especially those related to the independence and functioning of the judiciary and the fight against corruption.
Partners from the region are also called upon to guarantee "the rights and equal treatment of persons belonging to minorities."
The European Council calls for "a speedy resolution of the remaining outstanding issues" in talks between North Macedonia and Bulgaria, in order to launch accession talks without further delay.
It also stressed the "readiness of the European Council to approve the status of a candidate country to BiH" and to that end calls on the European Commission to present a report on the implementation of 14 key priorities set for that country.
BiH is called upon to implement the obligations from the political agreement reached on June 12, 2022 in Brussels, which would "enable the country to progress on the European path".
After the conclusions on the Western Balkans are adopted and the candidate states for Ukraine and Moldova are approved, EU leaders were to continue their dinner in Brussels, where they were to discuss further support for Ukraine in the war with Russia, relations with Turkey, and exchange views on the proposal of French President Emmanuel Macron regarding the formation of the European political community.
Friday, the second day of the EU summit, will traditionally be dedicated to talks on the eurozone, and the leaders of the European Central Bank and of the Eurogroup will join the EU leaders in Brussels.
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