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The EU will help the Balkans with one billion euros in the face of an energy crisis

This content was posted on November 03, 2022 – 02:52 PM November 03, 2022 – 02:52 PM

Berlin, 3 November (EFE).- The European Union (EU) will allocate one billion euros to help the Western Balkan countries in the face of the energy crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine, as they consider the transition to green energy as ” considers its future incorporation into the community block to be essential.

European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen announced this point at the end of the Western Balkans Conference held this Thursday in Berlin under the auspices of the government of Olaf Scholz.

Half of this will be invested in the form of emergency aid and the rest in investments to modernize the energy infrastructure.

During his media appearance, Scholz, together with von der Leyen and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, emphasized that Russia’s “brutal aggression” made it even more important to speed up the integration of these countries into the EU, but warned that this could only be done “with the Effort” of these states is possible.

The German head of state called on the six countries involved in the process to “double down” on these efforts, recalling that accession will entail “their inclusion in this large market”, the foreign minister recalled.

Von der Leyen attended the Balkans Conference, a forum established in 2014 at the invitation of then-Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Council President Charles Michel.

Along with these efforts by each individual country, relations between Serbia and Kosovo must be “normalized” on an internal level, both Scholz and von der Leyen reminded, otherwise there will be no progress on the path to membership.

The six Balkan countries invited to the meeting share a desire to join the EU, although their respective processes are progressing at different speeds.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has had the EC “recommendation” since mid-October to enter candidate status, but on condition that 14 priorities are met.

Serbia, which has not backed European sanctions against Moscow, is much further behind, as Brussels insists on the need to “commit” to the Community’s foreign policy line.

Albania, North Macedonia and Montenegro, which started intergovernmental negotiations to strengthen ties with the EU in July, have been urged to step up the fight against corruption and organized crime.

Finally, in Kosovo, a democratic “strengthening” of its structures, its public administration and the rule of law as well as an effective fight against corruption are required.

In addition to the energy crisis base, a number of cooperation agreements at work and education level were signed at today’s conference in Berlin, including the mutual recognition of university degrees and professional qualifications.

Serbia’s position towards Russia is the main obstacle, also at the level of the German government, to activate the process of recognition as a candidate country, as it could play a destabilizing role between the partners. EFE


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