European Union woos Western Balkans but is coy on membership

Sense of humor’- Brexit Britain to persuade wannabe EU countries to join the bloc

"This is not a subject for Sofia", a senior European Union official insisted, adding that membership issues would be discussed in June when leaders decide whether to approve accession negotiations with Albania and Macedonia.

Participants of the EU summit have chose to support the Iran nuclear deal and protect European businesses from the United States steps, French President Emmanuel Macron said as he arrived for the EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia on Thursday, TASS reports. "Building on the progress achieved so far, the Western Balkans partners have recommitted to the European perspective as their firm strategic choice, to reinforcing their efforts and mutual support", it added.

Tusk also revealed the points discussed during the summit: "We discussed how to improve the Western Balkans".

The text also states that "the European Union is determined to strengthen its engagement at all levels to support the political, economic and social transformation of the region, including through increased aid".

Exit has obtained a draft of the Joint Declaration from the May 17 Sofia Summit where representatives from the EU Member States will meet representatives from the Western Balkans.

"I am in favor of anchoring the Balkans in Europe and moving toward Europe". There was no "plan B", Tusk said, emphasising that the future of the Western Balkans was in the EU.

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Aside from the current disputes, many other Western Balkan states suffer from organised crime operating in their country.

"We have just concluded a very good and fruitful EU-Western Balkans summit". "I believe we have covered a major part of the distance, but there is still distance to cover", he said.

European Union and the Western Balkans partners acknowledge that results in fighting corruption and organized crime are essential for the region's political and socio-economic transformation and also for regional stability and security, which are in the best interest of their citizens, the declaration said.

In February, the European Commission released its strategy for the Western Balkan countries called "A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans".

"The President of the Republic, on the sidelines of the Synod, also had the opportunity to hold a private meeting with the President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Makron, with whom he discussed the ongoing upgrading of Cyprus's bilateral relations with France and the cooperation of many sectors".

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told reporters they spoke about the significance of the digital agenda, that is, the money that will be allocated for infrastructure providing the basis for economic growth.

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