Skip to main content

Minister Fajon on concrete measures for EU enlargement at the meeting of Foreign Ministers participating in the Berlin Process

At the invitation of German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock, Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon took part in the Foreign Ministers’ meeting of the Berlin Process. The focus was on energy security, the green agenda, the Common Regional Market, reconciliation in the region, and a positive perspective for young people in the Western Balkans.

"The new enlargement methodology must be based on trust and results. In Slovenia’s view, the EU should take the initiative by taking concrete measures and granting Bosnia and Herzegovina candidate status by the end of 2022. This would send an important geostrategic message to the countries of the Western Balkans," underlined the Minister. An effective, credible and transparent enlargement process has a transformative potential and can adequately support the strengthening and enlargement of the area of stability, democracy and the rule of law. "By using a concrete-steps approach in the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia has shown that we need to give new impetus to the enlargement process and new hope to the citizens of the Western Balkan countries. EU enlargement is not just a technical process of opening and closing chapters of European legislation. Enlargement is first and foremost a geostrategic story that will never be completed without the Western Balkans chapter," the Minister stressed.

We need to continue to actively pursue reforms and work together on common challenges such as the energy and food crises. We also need to involve the Western Balkan countries in discussions and issues wherever possible.

"Over the past years, Slovenia has consistently pointed to the importance of closer regional cooperation and reconciliation. Projects that could restore and strengthen trust in the Western Balkans need to be created and supported," the Minister added, and went on to underline the need to ensure positive prospects for young people.

A credible European perspective is an extremely important motivation for further reforms, reconciliation, stability and resilience against third actors and for addressing other outstanding issues in the region. Consequently, the EU integration process should be matched to the progress in introducing reforms.

The meeting was also attended by representatives of the European Union, the Regional Cooperation Council and the Regional Youth Cooperation Office, in addition to the Foreign Ministers of the countries participating in the Berlin Process.

On the margins of the event, Ms Fajon held bilateral meetings with Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina Biserka Turković and Kosovo Foreign Minister Donika Gërvalla-Schwarz. Minister Turković thanked Minister Fajon for her engagement towards obtaining a positive recommendation for Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU candidate status. Minister Fajon assured her counterpart that Slovenia will continue to play an active role and be committed to ensuring that EU leaders grant Bosnia and Herzegovina EU candidate status in December.

Minister Fajon and Minister Gërvalla-Schwarz confirmed the excellent and friendly relations between their two countries, with Minister Fajon reiterating Slovenia's support for visa liberalisation for Kosovo and her commitment to continue striving for the abolition of the visa regime for citizens of Kosovo as soon as possible.