“I call on the six Balkan countries to return to the common regional market and cooperation. We want all these countries of the Western Balkans to be part of the Open Balkans.”
This is what the EU Commissioner for Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi said in the presentation of the enlargement package and the progress report of the European Commission on Tuesday. He said these countries should return to the common regional market by cooperating with each other.
Kosovo, Montenegro and Bosnia have rejected the initiative on the Open Balkans which has been launched by Albanian and North Macedonian premiers Edi Rama and Zoran Zaev and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. These countries fear the Serbian hegemony in the region as the main target of this initiative which as a matter of fact has been ignored by Chancellor Merkel the initiator of the Berlin Process.
Varhelyi, meanwhile, blamed the European Union for not liberalizing visas with Kosovo, saying member states must be persuaded to make that decision.
“We have made our proposals for the rapid advancement of visa liberalization with Kosovo, but EU member states are not taking a decision. We are hindering ourselves from moving forward. We can make these decisions. We need to persuade member states to liberalize visas,” he said.
Varhelyi expressed the guarantee that the intergovernmental conference on the accession talks of Albania and North Macedonia with the EU will take place by the end of the year. According to him, the efforts made so far have not been successful.
Meanwhile, regarding the Kosovo-Serbia conflict, the commissioner as a solution to become part of the Open Balkans initiative./ argumentum.al