EU leaders to restate membership assure for Balkans at summit, officers say

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BRUSSELS, Oct 4 (Reuters) – European Union leaders will have the ability to restate their assure of future membership to 6 Balkan nations on Wednesday at a summit in Slovenia, after EU ambassadors overcame divisions, two EU officers stated.

After weeks of disagreement over the wording of a summit declaration for Wednesday’s gathering of EU and Balkan leaders, envoys from the EU’s 27 states reached a deal to “reconfirm … their unequivocal support for a European perspective,” the official stated.

Reuters reported on Sept. 28 that the deadlock over the declaration was seen as a mirrored image of the dearth of enthusiasm in EU capitals for bringing Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania and North Macedonia into the bloc. [nL8N2QU1R3]

A second EU official stated that whereas there was now settlement on a summit declaration, the EU’s technique of enlarging its neighborhood south-eastward confronted obstacles, even when formally the door is open to those that meet the membership standards.

“I can’t say everything is fine,” the official stated, noting reluctance amongst some member states to see additional enlargement of the bloc. “There are of course many issues but you also can’t say the door is closed.”

EU states have declined to reveal their positions on the summit declaration negotiations, though Slovenia, which holds the EU presidency, sought to incorporate a dedication that the bloc take within the six Balkan states by 2030, in accordance with a draft seen by Reuters.

The second EU official stated that had not been profitable.

Wealthy northern nations worry a repeat of the rushed accession of Romania and Bulgaria in 2007 and the poorly managed migration of jap European staff to Britain that turned many Britons in opposition to the EU.

Bulgaria is in opposition to North Macedonia becoming a member of due to a language dispute, which means even with the summit declaration’s approval, diplomats don’t count on any progress quickly.

Additional reporting John Chalmers; Editing by Andrea Ricci

A large European Union flag lies at the centre of Schuman Square outside European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, May 8, 2021.  REUTERS/Yves Herman