Zovko: hesitation is detrimental for the future of the Western Balkan countries

Strasbourg, 19 October 2022

Members of the European Parliament held a debate in the plenary session on the EU-Western Balkans relations in light of the new enlargement package, presented by Commissioner Varhelyi last week.

MEP Željana Zovko welcomed the outcome of these country reports and the Commission’s recommendation to grant candidate status to Bosnia and Herzegovina. She stated that the report also calls for the utmost priority to conclude an agreement on the needed electoral reform that would allow the implementation of the constitutional and international courts’ decisions and to accommodate all three peoples, namely Croats, Bosniaks and Serbs, and other minorities in a European future.

“Since the terrible aggression against Ukraine started, the EU showed that it will not leave its eastern borders unprotected and it granted the candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova.  Candidate status for Bosnia and Herzegovina means that we also care for the security on our southern border.” Zovko stated and added that enlargement was, is, and will be, more than anything else, a peace and security project.

In her intervention, Zovko called on all countries in the Western Balkans to carefully read these reports as constructive critics and to do the necessary homework to catch up on this momentum.
“At this moment, all European capitals are focussing on enlargement and hesitation is detrimental for the future of the Western Balkan countries. Our doors are open and it’s cold out there for those who are not part of the family.” She concluded.

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