European Union leaders will be able to reaffirm their commitment to the future integration of six Balkan countries at a summit hosted by Slovenia on Wednesday, after the ambassadors of member states overcame differences, two European officials were quoted as saying by Reuters on Monday.
After weeks of disagreement over the tone of the summit’s summit that will bring together EU and Balkan leaders on Wednesday, the 27 ambassadors reached an agreement on “reconfirming unequivocal support for a European perspective,” according to a European diplomat.
Reuters reported on September 28 that the stalemate over the summit statement was seen as an image of a lack of enthusiasm in member states’ capitals for bringing Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Albania, northern Macedonia and Kosovo into the bloc.
Another EU diplomat said that although there is agreement on the summit declaration, the EU’s expansion strategy to the southeast faces obstacles, even if the door is officially open for countries that meet the accession criteria, according to Agerpres.ro.
“I cannot say that all is well,” he said, noting the reluctance among some member states to see the European bloc continue expanding. “Obviously, there are a lot of issues, but you also can’t say that the door is closed,” he said.
EU states have avoided revealing their positions on the summit declaration negotiations, although Slovenia, which holds the six-month presidency of the EU Council, wants to include in the document its commitment that the European Union will include the six Balkan states in 2030, according to a draft consulted by Reuters.
Wealthy member states in the north fear a repeat of the hasty accession scenario of Romania and Bulgaria in 2007, but also the situation of poorly managed migration of Eastern European workers to Britain, which has made many Britons Eurosceptic.
Bulgaria opposes Northern Macedonia’s accession to the EU over a language dispute, which makes European diplomats skeptical even if the summit’s declaration is adopted.