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Sunday, July 22, 2018, 

EU to integrate Western Balkans, says Czech PM

EU to integrate Western Balkans, says Czech PM

Brussels, 6 December 2017 (MIA) -  Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says the European Union should welcome Western Balkan countries as soon as meet required criteria.

"Europe, if it wants to remain unified, can’t forget those waiting behind the door. The Western Balkans have proven again and again that they are ready to work on the necessary reforms. The EU should welcome these countries as soon as they have fulfilled their criteria. They all deserve the same chance of a European future that was granted to the Czech Republic. They do not need to join the club tomorrow, but they do need us to keep the door open", says Sobotka in an opinion at website "Politico".

He says the European Union is at a crossroads, with some calling for the creation of a "two-speed Europe," in which a small group of EU countries pursue tighter integration, leaving those unwilling to follow on the periphery.

"This would be a mistake, and a dangerous one. Critics of the EU sometimes reproach the bloc for inefficiency and mock our sometimes drawn out-efforts to seek compromises. They call for a strong hand, clear, fast and simple solutions. But it’s exactly this approach — seeking compromises without excluding any country from the decision — that is the essence of the integration process and the key behind the bloc’s success in overcoming crises and thorny issues. Compromises sometimes leave all parties equally dissatisfied. But they do something important: they make sure no country is sidelined or defeated. And they preserve the most important aspect of the bloc: our unity", stresses Sobotka.

According to him, EU’s strength lies in collaboration and unity.

"If we don’t face our challenges together, we will not solve them at all", adds Sobotka. ik/11:16


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