State Department: Accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia should start without delay

Following the recent meeting between Secretary Blinken and High Representative Borrell, the United States and the EU agreed to further strengthen their joint engagement in the Western Balkans in support of the region’s progress on its European path.

 

“We underscore our full support for the EU’s enlargement process.  EU accession, a stated priority for the whole Western Balkans, helps consolidate democratic institutions, protect fundamental rights, and advance the rule of law.  This region belongs in the European Union.  Closer integration will enhance stability and contribute to prosperity for the people of the region.  In this context, we stress that accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia should start without delay”, is said in the statement of the State Department.

 

They stress that the United States and the European Union are united in their firm support for the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as in their joint work to promote electoral and constitutional reform and maintain the functionality of the state institutions.

 

“We have serious concerns about increasingly divisive rhetoric in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  We call on all parties to respect and protect state institutions, resume constructive dialogue, and take steps to advance progress on the EU integration path – including on relevant reforms.  The EU and the United States stand ready to facilitate these steps”.

 

Following the recent tension in the north of Kosovo, the statement also stresses the importance of the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo facilitated by the EU, with the purpose to ensure continuous and sustainable de-escalation and to avoid actions that threaten the stability.

“We welcome and support Kosovo’s engagement to fight corruption and organized crime, and we reiterate that violence against civilians, journalists, police, or other authorities is unacceptable”.

The US State Department also called on all political forces in Montenegro to work together to achieve the reforms necessary to realize their hopes for a future in the EU.

 

 

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