On Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she had been anticipating six Western Balkan states to join the 26-member European Union for strategic whys and wherefores, pointing towards a prudent EU move amid growing influence of Moscow and Beijing in the region.
Speaking to the reporters following a virtual Western Balkans conference, without naming either Russia or China, Merkel said, “It is in the European Union's very own interests to drive the process forward here.
” The heads of six Western Balkan states such as Serbia, Albania, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina alongside European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen had attended the virtual meet.
Aside from that, Merkel had also pledged 3 million pandemic vaccine jabs to the six Western Balkan nations ‘as soon as possible.’ On top of that, French President Emmanuel Macron ‘very clearly’ had backed Merkel’s vision of the six Balkan states joining European Union in a video conference.
Concomitantly, European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, who had also attended the virtual meet, said in a statement, “Our first priority is to accelerate the enlargement agenda across the region and support our Western Balkan partners in their work to deliver on the necessary reforms to advance on their European path”.
Merkel, Macron see six Western Balkan states joining European Union
Apart from that, expressing a through and through optimism regarding an inclusion of the six aforementioned Western Balkan states which had attended the virtual meet into the EU by phases, Merkel was quoted saying that a stronger regional cooperation since 2014 had already yielded initial success like of a roaming accord which recently came into action.