Meeting in New York during the opening session of the UN General Assembly, the foreign ministers of Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Croatia have stated strong support for Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia to become members of the European Union.
Bulgaria’s Ekaterina Zaharieva, Greece’s Nikos Dendias, Romania’s Romana Mănescu and Croatia’s Gordan Grlić Radman reviewed the European integration of the six countries in the region that are not EU members “and identified sensitive questions about reforms in each of these countries and how they could be supported,” a Bulgarian Foreign Ministry statement said.
“We are convinced that we will be safer, more prosperous and richer only if all our neighbours become members of the European Union,” Zaharieva said.
She said that Greece had assisted Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia in their accession processes “and now is the time to support our neighbours from the six countries in the Western Balkans.”
“Bulgaria has signed a friendship agreement with the Republic of North Macedonia and it must be implemented. Albania must implement the legislation it has adopted. Bulgaria supports the start of membership negotiations with both countries,” Zaharieva said.
“Greece is coming out of a 10-year crisis, many Greeks have lost their way of life, the country has been oriented inward, but now we will again be engaged with the Balkans and European topics. We support both Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia for EU membership,” Dendias said.
Romania’s Mănescu said Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Croatia should continue to coordinate their actions in the enlargement policy.
“We must support them with our neighbours and continue the commitment with which Bulgaria has led this process during its (EU) Presidency. Separating Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia will be a big mistake and I think the time has come for a positive signal,” she said.
“We support both Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia in their European path. We want all the countries in the region to live as good neighbours,” Croatia’s Foreign Minister said.