FM Fajon notes importance of credible EU enlargement policy

Thessaloniki – Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon attended a ministerial of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) in Thessaloniki on Friday, and held a number of bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Greece event. In the debate, Fajon noted the importance of a credible EU enlargement policy for the reform efforts of the Western Balkans.

At the annual meeting, the SEECP foreign ministers exchanged views on how to appropriately respond to regional and global challenges in order to develop all areas of social life for the benefit of the region and its citizens.

The key topics were the European integration process and further work in connectivity in the SEECP region and elsewhere in the world, energy, migration and security after the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Slovenian Foreign Ministry said in a press release.

Fajon said that enlargement policy was the EU’s most effective geostrategic policy, which was also important in the context of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the EU’s future relations with Georgia and Moldova.

“For Slovenia, there is no alternative to an effective enlargement policy, which is the only policy with transformative power and a prerequisite for a stable, safe and democratic Europe. A further EU enlargement process is a major priority,” she added.

The Slovenian foreign minister noted that the war in Ukraine demanded from the EU to take responsibility to continue the enlargement process as soon as possible by launching accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.

The strategic integration of all European countries must complement and not replace other processes, such as the EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, Fajon added.

In her address, the new Slovenian foreign minister also noted Slovenia’s unwavering support for Ukraine and the EU perspective of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, but not at the expense of the Western Balkan countries. She also highlighted the importance of greater energy security.

On the sidelines of the ministerial, Fajon had bilateral meetings with the host and her Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias, as well as with Albania’s counterpart Olta Xhacka, Montenegro’s Ranko Krivokapić, North Macedonia’s Bujar Osmani and Serbia’s Nikola Selaković.