The EC approves the enlargement package, a guarantee is required for security in the Western Balkans, Kosovo depends on dialogue
In a press conference, after the approval of the enlargement package, along with individual progress reports for 10 countries, including Albania, EC President Ursula Von Der Leyen emphasized that the countries of the region still have work ahead, but by intensifying reforms in a merit-based process, had shown determination and willingness to join the bloc.
For Kosovo, the only country among the ten that does not have a recommendation for candidate status, the path to the EU was closely linked to success in dialogue and the establishment of association.
"I think it is important that Kosovo has a very clear goal regarding EU membership, so that we are clear about what we expect from Kosovo. We discussed, when I was in the region, the implementation of the draft statute for the Association of Serb-majority municipalities, and this implementation would be a big step forward. It is in the interest of Kosovo", said Ursula VonDer Leyen.
Although Kosovo has applied for membership in the EU, the Commissioner for EU Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi, said that the Council has not yet asked the commission to give an opinion on this.
"We are ready to give the opinion. They should redouble their efforts to make the dialogue successful", emphasized Varhelyi.
At the press conference alongside Von der Leyen, Varhely asked for security guarantees in the Western Balkans in exchange for help for rapid integration.
"Our plan is to integrate the states of the Western Balkans, which are interested, as soon as possible and as soon as possible to fulfill the obligations arising from our rules. For this we are ready to help them and put at their disposal every tool we have at our disposal. But we have a request in return. We want this to contribute widely to the stability, security and prosperity of the region. Therefore, we ask them to treat each other, as they will treat us", said Varhely.
In the shadow of the expansion package, the European Commission also approved the ambitious plan for economic growth in the countries of the region, of 6 billion euros. The plan contains a series of proposals for the integration of the countries of the Western Balkans region into many policies and programs of the EU even before they become formal members of the bloc.