Foreign Ministers of V4 and B4 back EU enlargement process

Foreign Ministers of V4 and B4 back EU enlargement process
The foreign ministers of the Visegrad Group (V4) consisting of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, and the four Balkan EU member states including Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia (B4) voiced support of the EU enlargement process at their informal meeting being  held Friday in Sounio near Athens.

We, friends of the EU enlargement have come here, Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Marija Pejcinovic Buric said at the meeting held in Greece.

The second ministerial meeting of the Visegrad Group and the Balkan EU member states was held six days before the forthcoming informal EU summit meeting between the EU bloc and western Balkan aspirants.

Western Balkan EU candidate countries - Albania, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia were also invited to participate in the meeting.

Participants support expansion, but disagree on when accession of newcomers should happen.

Bulgarian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said that it was realistic to expect the accession of the first newcomers -- Serbia and Montenegro-- in 2025.

However, her Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto advocated a faster pace of the enlargement.

‘Otherwise the region could have serious security issues. All big players have their strategies for that region, except the EU,’ he added.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias criticized the idea of a multiple-speed Europe as being against the interest of smaller members.

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