EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi met today, November 9, with the foreign ministers of the Western Balkans, as part of the Berlin Process and the economic support plan.
The online meeting was also attended by Deputy Foreign Minister Gent Cakaj.
Vrahelyi made it clear to the ministers that if “their governments were not resolutely committed to implementing substantial reforms”, they would not be able to absorb EU-approved funds.
The reforms demanded by the EU, Varhelyi emphasizes in the press statement are “economic reforms, strengthening the rule of law and democratic principles, the fight against corruption, administrative reforms”.
In a Twitter post after the meeting, the European Commissioner said that “the future of the Western Balkans is in the EU”:
“Regional cooperation is not an alternative to European integration, but an essential part of it. The region must create an environment where young people choose to stay and influence the local economy and society.
The EU approved EUR 9 billion euros in economic aid to countries in the region to fight the coronavirus crisis.