PM Plenkovic attends Berlin Process Summit

NEWS 05.07.2021 20:58
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Source: N1

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Monday attended the virtual Berlin Process Summit where the leaders of the initiative's member states discussed the progress made by Southeastern European countries and the current challenges of regional cooperation.

At the meeting, held under the chairmanship of Germany, the Berlin Process heads of state or government discussed the achievements made in the seven years since the launch of this initiative aimed at bringing the Western Balkans closer to integration with the European Union.

Plenkovic said that Croatia supports the continuation of the enlargement process based on individual merits of each country, as established at the Zagreb Summit held in May 2020 during Croatia’s EU presidency.

He stressed the need for a quick consensus on the negotiating frameworks for Albania and North Macedonia so that accession negotiations with the two countries could be opened immediately, the government said in a press release.

The prime minister in particular highlighted the need for Bosnia and Herzegovina to continue its EU journey and implement key reforms, notably change its electoral legislation to ensure full compliance with the principle of legitimate representation of all three of its constituent peoples.

Croatia welcomes the entry into force of the agreement abolishing roaming charges with the Western Balkan countries on 1 July 2021 as an important achievement that will improve the digital connectivity of the region, the government said. Ensuring the unimpeded movement of goods, people, capital and services between the Western Balkan countries is essential and Croatia welcomes the specific initiatives in this regard, it added.

Plenkovic noted that as a gesture of solidarity, Croatia had donated 360,000 doses of vaccines against Covid-19 to the countries of Southeast Europe.

The meeting confirmed the important role of the Berlin Process as a driver of regional cooperation in the Western Balkans, which is important in the context of efforts to overcome the social and economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As for the future of the Berlin Process, Croatia will also remain a reliable partner in any future concepts of cooperation given that only European integration guarantees the long-term stability of Southeast Europe, the Croatian government said.

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