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Prime Minister Šarec in Davos: "EU membership for the countries of the Western Balkans should be our ultimate goal."

  • Former Prime Minister Marjan Šarec (2018 - 2020)

Prime Minister Marjan Šarec is attending the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos at the invitation of its founder and Executive Chairman, prof. Klaus Schwab, on 21 and 22 January 2020.

This year's theme of the WEF, one of the leading and most influential events of this kind in the world, is "Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World".

The Slovenian Prime Minister took part today in a panel discussion on continuing a strategic dialogue on the Western Balkans. The discussion focused on the question of how to accelerate the development of this area through enhanced regional cooperation. Prime Minister Šarec underlined that the EU's enlargement to the Western Balkans was of key importance to the stabilisation and transformation of that area. The discussion will not be complete without implementing the EU's enlargement policy. The region is an important EU partner in terms of facing challenges such as the fight against organised crime and corruption, as well as cooperation with the EU in the management of migrations.

The Prime Minister again expressed his disappointment that the EU Member States reached the decision not to start EU accession talks with Northern Macedonia and Albania: "At the end of the day, the continuation of the enlargement process is the only choice we have if we want a stable and powerful Europe. Only such a European Union can play an important and responsible role in a globalised and unstable world." The Prime Minister expressed his belief that the upcoming discussions between the EU Member States will demonstrate that the EU is capable of reaching a consensus on such important issues as the European perspective and the European affiliation of the Western Balkans: "The EU membership of the area should be our ultimate goal and our steps towards the achievement of this goal should be accelerated, not slowed down." In addition, he expressed his expectation that the EU would reach a consensus to start accession talks with Northern Macedonia and Albania in March this year.

After the discussion on the Western Balkans, Prime Minister Šarec met with Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borissov, confirming the good relations between the two countries and stressed the potential for economic cooperation. The two prime ministers agreed on the importance of the integration of the Western Balkan countries in the EU and also addressed other topics from current EU debates.