Brdo pri Kranju – Parliamentary Speaker Igor Zorčič hosted a meeting of parliamentary speakers from the Western Balkans on Monday, saying that the EU must give the region a clear signal on when it could expect EU accession. The speakers of the Serbian and Montenegrin parliaments also called for more clarity regarding the EU enlargement.
Speaking to the press after the high-level meeting in Brdo pri Kranju, Zorčič said that the aim was to keep the process of the EU enlargement to the Western Balkans on the table and to facilitate it.
He noted that the “process has not only been stalled, but it has even turned into the wrong direction”.
According to Zorčič, the parliaments of certain Western Balkan countries do not see the EU and getting closer to the bloc as future, and some countries have given up on waiting for signals to come from the EU.
On the other hand, they continue making the necessary reforms and thus it is of “utmost importance that the EU gives the countries a clear signal on when they can accept the accession,” he added.
President of the National Assembly of Serbia Ivica Dačić agreed, saying that the EU needed to say when it would accept the Western Balkan countries and noting that the region deserved an honest attitude.
President of the Parliament of Montenegro Aleksa Bečić noted that there was no alternative to the EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, and he also demanded an answer from the EU as to whether this process is still alive.
The meeting was also attended by the parliamentary speakers from Bosnia-Herzegovina and North Macedonia and the vice-president of the Albanian Parliament. The speakers of the Parliament of Kosovo has excused himself, Zorčič said.
The participants were addressed beforehand by President Borut Pahor, Foreign Minister Anže Logar and Foreign Policy Committee chair Monika Gregorčič.
In the afternoon, the meeting will continue with a talk with young people from Slovenia and the Western Balkans as part of the Conference on the Future of Europe.
The EU enlargement to the Western Balkans is one of the priorities of the Slovenian presidency of the EU Council, as part of which an EU-Western Balkans summit will be hosted next week.