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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
News article6 October 2021

Remarks by Commissioner Várhelyi upon arrival to the EU-Western Balkans Summit

Cssr Varhelyi summit

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Brdo, Slovenia, 6 October 2021

Today is a very important day. Our leaders will not only confirm but also make it very clear that we are committed to the full integration and membership of the Western Balkan within the European Union.

Therefore, we have to take our responsibilities and our decisions that lead us to this. Meaning opening the first Intergovernmental conference with North Macedonia and Albania, meaning opening negotiating clusters with Serbia and start closing with Montenegro, meaning accelerating the work for Bosnia and Herzegovina to become a candidate country, meaning to deliver visa liberalisation to Kosovo.

The other major topic of today is going to be the economic recovery after the COVID crisis. I am very pleased to see that the Economic and Investment Plan for the investments worth one third of the GDP of the Western Balkans, €30 billion, which is one year old, already started to be implemented.

And this should give a boost to accelerating the real integration of the societies and the economies of the Western Balkans with the European Union.

And finally today we will also confirm our continued support when it comes to fighting the COVID pandemic and our continued commitment to deliver vaccines and additional help for all the Western Balkans partners.

Thank you!


Publication date
6 October 2021