President Stevo Pendarovski participated today in Brdo pri Kranj in the 11th meeting of the leaders of the countries participating in the Brdo-Brijuni Process, where they discussed the current key topics in the region and Europe, the process of expanding the European Union with the countries of the Western Balkans, about the security situation and the Russian aggression against Ukraine, as well as about the measures and ways to deal with the energy and economic crisis we are facing, as a result of the war in Ukraine.
The European Union enlargement, President Pendarovski said, contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability in our region, to the improvement of democracy, the rule of law and the protection of human rights and freedoms, and therefore it is necessary to accelerate the integration processes of all countries from the Western Balkans. In that direction, President Pendarovski expressed expectation that the upcoming meeting of the European Political Community, which should be held in early October, will contribute to the further acceleration of integration.
The leaders welcomed the official start of negotiations of North Macedonia and Albania with the EU and called on the institutions of the European Union to take further bold decisions regarding the integration of the remaining countries of the Western Balkans.
In the talks, President Pendarovski said that Bosnia and Herzegovina deserves the candidate status for the EU, and Kosovo the visa-free regime, and expressed his expectation for further strong support from Slovenia and Croatia in the European integration processes of the Western Balkan countries.President Pendarovski stressed that Western Balkan countries need access to EU mechanisms as soon as possible, as support for dealing with the upcoming energy crisis, and pointed out that the economic and social crisis can cause a multi-year political crisis and generate additional instability. In order to mitigate the negative effects of the war in Ukraine, President Pendarovski appealed for enhanced cooperation and dialogue.
In the end, President Pendarovski said that the country is ready to host the Brdo-Brijuni Process next year.
At the meeting in Kranj, at the invitation of the Slovenian and Croatian Presidents, Borut Pahor and Zoran Milanovic, the President of Albania, Bajram Begaj, the Chairman and two members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sefik Dzaferovic, Milorad Dodik and Zeljko Komsic, the President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic and the President of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, participated.