Doorstep by President von der Leyen at the EU-Western Balkans Informal Meeting

Met dank overgenomen van Europese Commissie (EC) i, gepubliceerd op zondag 16 februari 2020.

Good evening,

This is an important evening and dinner tonight. You know that the Western Balkans are a priority for our Commission. I think it is in our common geostrategic interest to have the Western Balkans as close as possible to the European Union.

You know that we have revised our methodology and the methodology in its revised form should create and regain trust on all sides in this process. Because it is accelerating the structural reforms and on the other hand, it is creating a credible perspective for the Western Balkans to join over time the European Union.

We want also to pave the way for North Macedonia and Albania to start the accession talks with the European Union if possible before the Zagreb Summit. For the Summit itself, we are preparing an investment package by the Commission, and I hope very much that the Council will give now green light for this prospect.

We will have tomorrow for Albania a Donors' Conference. The Donors' Conference has the aim to create a lot of pledging moneyfor the reconstruction after the difficult earthquake that has taken place in Albania.

Thank you.