‘Moment of truth’ has come for Western Balkans

by Cristian Florescu

The “moment of truth” has come for the Western Balkans and European Union leaders need to clarify their accession prospects, particularly for Albania and North Macedonia, when they gather in Tirana on December 6 for the EU-Western Balkan Summit, said Margaritis Schinas, the EU commissioner for Promoting our European Way of Life.

“There is no doubt that the Western Balkans want to be with us, and in many ways, they already are,” he said in a conversation with Kathimerini’s Alexis Papachelas at the Southeast Europe & East Med conference, organized by the Delphi Economic Forum and Kathimerini, in Brussels.

“Mistakes have been made that should act in an educational manner,” Schinas conceded, saying that the formal enlargement process has so far failed to respond to the convergence already achieved by the Western Balkans.

Schinas added that any decisions reached by the European Union’s energy ministers to counter the rising cost of natural gas should also be extended to the Western Balkans.

“The European Commission has never left anyone in the Western Balkans behind,” he said.

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