“We, as MEPs, should be consistent in our support for the European prospect for the Western Balkans, mostly because the accession process is a driver of reforms and for achieving stability in the region. That is why I welcome the European Commission’s recommendation to start negotiations with the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Albania,” said Head of the Delegation of Bulgarian socialists to the EP Peter Vitanov in Brussels.
He emphasised that in the past few years the EU had shifted the focus from integration to security, which to a large extent made Southeastern Europe an arena of confrontation. “In this way, we risk turning our efforts into a fight over the Western Balkans instead of achieving integration of the Western Balkans. Let us return to the field of integration,” urged Vitanov.
The leader of the Bulgarian Socialists said that the launch of the negotiations was not a guarantee for membership but a driving force for strengthening the rule of law and maintaining tolerant and good neighbourly relations. “Progress depends on the individual efforts and the implementation of the criteria for membership,” added Vitanov.