The Slovenia Times

PM Bratušek in Berlin for Summit on Western Balkans



Building on the conclusions of the July summit of Western Balkan leaders in Croatia's Dubrovnik, the conference will highlight EU prospects for the Western Balkans and encourage regional cooperation.

Hosted by the German government, the summit will feature heads of state, economy and foreign ministers of Western Balkan countries, Slovenia, Croatia, Austria and France plus EU representatives.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will host the event together with the economy and foreign ministers, last met Balkan leaders on 15 July in Dubrovnik as part of the Brdo Process, a Slovenian initiative of regional cooperation.

The EU will be represented by president of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, vice-president Günther Oettinger and Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle.

Before the summit gets under way, economy ministers will meet for a business conference and then discuss, at various panels, business cooperation in energy, technology and infrastructure as well as ways to boost employment and encourage investments.

Foreign ministers will meanwhile meet Commissioner Füle to focus on EU prospects for the region and debate open regional and bilateral issues.

Heads of state of Slovenia, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro will moreover meet Merkel at a working meeting dedicated to the political situation in the region.

The office of the outgoing Slovenian prime minister said Slovenia expected concrete infrastructural and business projects to be discussed.

Among the major projects requiring regional cooperation is the completion of the Adriatic-Ionian motorway which is to connect central and western Europe with Greece from Slovenia through Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania.

Slovenia is to contribute a motorway section between the area around the towns of Postojna and Divača and the Jelšane international border crossing with Croatia, all in the south-west.


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