Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy Antonio Tajani announced today that the strong need for Europe and Italy coming from the Western Balkans must be accepted without delay, and for this reason, they decided to continue the dialogue started in Rome with a new meeting that will be held before the end of the year to check the progress of cooperation.
“Italy wants to play a leading role in this and is ready to be fully involved because the future of our country and Europe is at stake. The Balkans cannot wait any longer,” said Tajani, announced the Embassy of Italy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
He reminded that the restart of the Italian involvement in the region, which the Government of Italy initiated with the Conference in Trieste on January 24, continued with another important event – the ministerial meeting in Rome on April 3 when, together with the foreign ministers of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, of Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, as well as with the Swedish Presidency of the EU Council and the Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy, discussed how to make the European integration process of this region more concrete.
“We listened carefully to the strong demand for Europe and Italy, their aspiration to be part of the European project to which they feel closely connected both by history, culture and economy and to whose construction they want to contribute with the energy of their civil society and the enthusiasm of young people. The talks revealed the need for joint work on integration into the mechanisms and institutional life of the EU from the initial stages of the negotiation process, especially in key sectors such as energy and digital transition, infrastructure, education, and research. Some of my colleagues said that they want to contribute to determining the stages of this path, and not just follow them. I support this approach, which must include these six countries in creating the next stages of the integration process,” stated Tajani.
He added that what the countries of the Western Balkans are looking for is not a ‘discount’ on the reforms that the European Union is asking to be adopted for membership, but security in the process, in the dynamics and, above all, in the final result.
Tajani claims that he “could feel” their frustration with the integration process, which has become more and more unstable in recent years, all because of the frequent bureaucratic interpretation of the negotiation dynamics by the European Union, while forgetting the exceptional transformative value that the integration process has for institutions and civil society of these countries – the European dream risks becoming a chimera for all of them.