Varhelyi: EU should step up engagement in Western Balkans

Oliver Varhelji izveštaj
Evropski parlament/printscreen

European Commission Oliver Varhelyi said on Thursday that the European Union has to step up its engagement in the Western Balkans, including strong political and financial support.

At a time when the world is facing an unprecedented act of aggression against a sovereign, independent country, the EU needs more and not less engagement with the Western Balkans region and therefore intend to continue our strong political and financial support to the entire region, including Serbia, on their path to the EU,” Varhelyi said in written reply to questions from MEPs.

Varhelyi recalled that Serbia voted for the UN General Assembly resolution condemning Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine and support two other UN resolution on the humanitarian consequences of the invasion and Russia’s suspension in the Human Rights Council.

“The Commission expects Serbia to continue to show this commitment by progressively aligning with EU restrictive measures, including those concerning Russia, in accordance with its declared strategic priority of EU integration and as provided for under the EU-Serbia Negotiating Framework,” he said and added that the Commission expects candidate countries, including Serbia, to show full commitment to rule of law and fundamental rights.