On Tuesday, 8 June, as part of the Berlin Process, Foreign Minister Maas will host a virtual meeting with his counterparts from the six Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia), the United Kingdom and a number of EU member states.
In 2004, North Macedonia applied for EU membership; in December 2005, it was granted candidate country status by the European Council.
Given the current travel restrictions, the EU-Western Balkans Summit, which was originally to take place in Zagreb, is being held by video conference. The focus is on working together in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The EU is providing 3.3 billion euros in support for the region.
On today’s trip to North Macedonia, Foreign Minister Maas seeks to encourage perseverance with reforms, saying that Germany will support and assist the Country.
Yesterday, the Bundestag voted in favour of opening EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania. This sends an important message, for the Western Balkans is a key region for Europe.
During the visit of his Albanian counterpart, Heiko Maas praises judicial reform and emphasises the overall significance of the Western Balkans for the EU.