Brdo-Brijuni Process meeting discusses future of W Balkans
Slovenian President Borut Pahor told the press after the meeting that he was happy that all participants of the process were sincere and ready for dialogue.
He warned that the EU would be dealing mostly with itself in the coming period and less with the enlargement process, which however should not undermine the reform processes in the countries that wanted to join the EU and NATO.
According to Pahor, the member countries of the Brdo-Brijuni Process of cooperation in the Western Balkans should encourage each other regardless of their varied statuses in the Euro-Atlantic integration process.
"I cannot see a complete EU without all countries of the region as full-fledged members. But we will have to find internal strength in the coming period among ourselves for mutual encouragement in resolving bilateral disputes and implementing reforms that will qualify the countries for membership," the president added.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella, a guest of honour at the summit, meanwhile confirmed Italy's support to the countries in the region on their way to EU and NATO accession.
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović also expressed concern over the slowing down of the EU enlargement process, while rejecting claims that Croatia was blocking Serbia's negotiations with the EU on the judiciary and human rights.
She proposed to her Serbian counterpart Tomislav Nikolić that representatives of the two countries meet to discuss further criteria as part of this negotiating chapter.
The participants also adopted a joint statement in which they agreed that politicians have the responsibility to build trust in open, sincere and direct talks, without burdening themselves with historic disputes.
Chairman of Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency Bakir Izetbegović explained that an agreement was made to avoid making statements or moves that would trigger tensions or undermine the stability of the region.
The presidents also called for higher economic competitiveness of the countries in the region, which would be achieved by eliminating barriers for free flow of people and goods, he said.
It was announced that the next high-level meeting of the Brdo-Brijuni Process would be held next year in Macedonia.