President Juncker will participate today in an informal dinner of the EU28 leaders ahead of the Western Balkans Summit in Sofia, Bulgaria. In view of recent events, leaders are expected to discuss EU-US trade relations, the future of the Iran nuclear deal, as well as the EU's response to US announcements on the imposition of sanctions and how to best protect the economic interests of European companies. In the context of the Leaders' Agenda agreed in October 2017, discussions will also focus on research and innovation and on the actions necessary to complete the Digital Single Market. The European Commission presented yesterday its contributions with a Renewed European Agenda for Research and Innovation and a set of concrete actions to protect citizens' privacy and make the EU's Digital Single Market a reality before the end of 2018. On 17 May, the EU-Western Balkans Summit will take place bringing together the Heads of State or Government of EU Member States and their counterparts from the Western Balkans. In addition to President Juncker, High Representative/Vice President Mogherini, Commissioner Hahn and Commissioner Gabriel will also take part. This is the first Summit with Western Balkan leaders for the last 15 years. Following on the Commission's Western Balkans Strategy released in February this year and President Juncker's visit to the region, the Summit will reaffirm the European perspective of the Western Balkans. The main points of discussion will be physical and human connectivity within the region and with the EU and addressing better shared challenges such as security and migration. As a concrete outcome of the Summit, EU Leaders are expected to adopt a Sofia Summit Declaration with follow-up actions. In the margins of the Summit, the Western Balkans partners will also sign a Statement of Support for a Digital Agenda for the Western Balkans - one of the six flagships of the Commission's Western Balkans Strategy. For more information on the way forward between the EU and the Western Balkans and their economic relations please see our dedicated factsheets. More information related to the Summit and the Leaders' meeting is available in the factsheets on the Digital Single Market, Data Protection and the Western Balkans. A press conference by President Juncker, President Tusk and Prime Minister Borissov will follow the Summit, timing to be confirmed. Watch live on EbS here.
For more information:
Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524
Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382
- Publication date
- 16 May 2018
- Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations