Cakaj at the Berlin Process Ministerial Meeting: Investment in the Western Balkans and its integration into the EU in the interests of the EU itself

In the Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Berlin Process states, held in Warsaw, Poland, Acting Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Gent Cakaj said that investment in a more integrated and more developed Western Balkans is in the interests of the European Union itself.

The all-sided political, economic, social, and cultural investment in the Western Balkans, crowned with the integration into the EU, is in the common interests of all of us, including Europe, for a peaceful and free continent with a more prosperous future,’ Cakaj said.

Dwelling on the role Albania plays in its relations with the neighbours and the region, Acting Minister Cakaj pointed out that the focus of Albania’s regional policy is on eliminating all the issues with the neighbours, and improving all-sided cooperation at the level of bilateral, tripartite, and multilateral relations.

Cakaj mentioned the intergovernmental meetings Albania has had with Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Montenegro, as well as the tripartite and quadripartite meetings with countries of the region, as examples of consistent cooperation and regional spirit of development in the Western Balkans.

Considering the Berlin Process as a complementary initiative to the integration of Albania and the region as a whole into Europe, Acting Minister Cakaj underlined that, ‘As well as focussing on the technical aspect of cooperation through regional projects on infrastructure, energy, connectivity, and so on, the Berlin Process has the importance of a political dialogue,’ which, according to Cakaj, must be taken to the level of sincere regional cooperation.

It is crucial for this Process to be revitalised, and taken to the level of the model offered by the Prespa Agreement reached recently between Greece and North Macedonia. I consider that such model would ensure considerable success in relation to the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.

The meeting hosted by the Polish Presidency of the Berlin Process was also attended by officials from the European Commission, the EU External Action Service, and Regional Youth Cooperation Organisation (RYCO).

In particular, the event, foreseen as a preparation for the Poznań Summit on the Western Balkans, to be held on 4-5 July 2019, focussed on the situation surrounding youths in the Western Balkans, and the open bilateral issues among the countries in the region, and the participating countries’ expectations of this process under the Polish Presidency.

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