EU, Conference on the future of Europe incomplete without the Western Balkans

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ZAGREB, 12 March 2022 – Citizens of the Western Balkans took part in the conference on the future of Europe on Friday and Saturday, and European Commission Vice-President Dubravka Šuica said on Saturday that neither Europe nor the conference could not be complete without them.

The Executive Bureau of the Conference decided that during the Conference, Member States should work with Western Balkan countries, whose citizens could submit their proposals on a digital platform. In addition, six Western Balkan countries have been invited to participate in the plenaries.

This was done, Šuica told Hina, because “Europe is not complete without the Western Balkans”.

North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina responded to the invitation, she said, adding that their contribution is significant, although less than that of other countries “since their citizens could not not participate in the panels”.

EU with Ukraine

Citizens of Ukraine took part in a plenary session in Strasbourg where, Šuica said, the EU wanted to send a strong message to Ukraine.

“The set of sanctions we have adopted is unprecedented. Today there will be a fourth set, which means that the EU is doing everything within its powers and possibilities.”

However, it is not just about the EU, as cooperation with the United States, Japan, Canada and Australia is also important, Šuica said, adding that the EU and these partners “align sanctions against Russia, which is the aggressor in Ukraine”.

“We are also sending a message of solidarity and we are sure that Ukraine is part of the European Union, but reforms cannot take place during a war. It would be an illusion at this time to say that they will become a state member, but we’re sure they belong to that part of the world, we’re sure they share our values.”

Šuica went on to say that the Conference on the Future of Europe will end on May 9, after which the proposals that have been made will be integrated into clusters and submitted to the relevant institutions.

She said it was the first time that the Commission, the Council and the Parliament “have worked together on such a big project with which we want to change the way the EU works for the better”.

She said the conference would continue in one form or another and her proposal was to at least leave the digital platform as a permanent instrument.

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