Foreign Ministers of Greece, Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria have voiced full support for the start of EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania at a meeting held as part of the UN General Assembly in New York.
The FMs of these four Balkan countries, members of the EU, have reviewed the European integration bids of the neighboring candidate countries at the meeting, the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.
“We’re convinced that we’ll be more secure, prosperous and wealthy only if all our neighbors join the EU,” said Bulgarian Foreign Minister Zaharieva.
She pointed out that just as Greece had at the time helped Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia in their EU integration process, it was now time that they would do the same for other countries in the region and support them in joining the EU.
“Bulgaria signed a Friendship Treaty with the Republic of North Macedonia, and it should be implemented. Albania, on the other hand, needs to improve its legislation and align it with the European legislation. Bulgaria supports the start of EU accession negotiations with the two countries,” Zaharieva noted.
Greek FM Dendias said that Greece was coming out of a 10-year long crisis, during which the country had been oriented towards itself but will now re-engage with the Balkans and Europe.
“We support Albania and North Macedonia in their bid to join the EU,” Dendias said.
Romania’s FM Mănescu voiced support for Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Croatia to continue coordinating activities focused on the EU enlargement policy.
“We need to support our neighbors and continue with Bulgaria’s engagement in leading the process during its EU presidency. Separation of North Macedonia and Albania’s Euro-integration process would be a big mistake and I believe the time has come for both countries to get a green light,” said Mănescu.
Croatian FM Gordan Grlić-Radman also voiced support for start of EU accession talks with Skopje and Tirana, as well as further development of good-neighborly relations in the region.