Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement prior to the Foreign Ministers Meeting in the framework of the Federal Government Western Balkans Conference on 28 August 2014:
I am delighted that my counterparts from all the Western Balkan states and other active partners are coming to Berlin.
This conference underlines Germany’s continuing firm commitment to the entire region. It is an affirmation of our support for the EU prospects of all the Western Balkan states.
We want to use our meeting to express our appreciation of the progress the region has already made towards the European Union. At the same time, we will be discussing questions crucial for the speed and success of its move towards the EU. In this context, it will be important to discuss how the countries of the Western Balkans can advance the necessary reforms, not least within the scope of regional cooperation.
Particularly in the light of the current international crises in our neighbourhood, I also want to talk to my colleagues about how we can increasingly reflect common European values and interests in a uniform European external policy.