EU-Western Balkans summit, 17 May 2018

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Series Details 17.05.18
Publication Date 17/05/2018
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Summary:

A summit between the European Union and the countries of the Western Balkans region was held on 17 May 2018, in Sofia (Bulgaria). The meeting was meant to reaffirm the European perspective for the whole region and encourage closer cooperation between the two sides.

Further information:

EU leaders agreed on the Sofia declaration, with which the Western Balkans partners have aligned themselves. They also adopted the Sofia priority agenda, as an annex to the declaration, outlining new measures for enhanced cooperation with the region. Connectivity, security and the rule of law were the main areas addressed.

On the previous day, European Council President invited EU leaders to an informal dinner, which was part of the Leader's Agenda and focused on digital Europe, research, and innovation. The Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union also organised a series of side events.

Spain's Prime Minister decided not to attend the meeting since Spain was still one of the EU countries not to recognise Kosovo's independence.

Bilaterally, the summit was also an opportunity for leaders from Greece and the FYR Macedonia to meet and attempt an agreement on the long-standing name dispute.

+ Communication on a 'credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans'
European Commission, February 2018

Source Link http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/international-summit/2018/05/17/
Related Link(s)
Balkan Insight, 17.05.18: Enlargement Stays off Agenda at Sofia Summit http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/sofia-summit-balkans-meet-europe-for-the-first-time-in-15-years-05-17-2018
Deutsche Welle, 17.05.18: EU keen on Balkans reform, cool on accession http://www.dw.com/en/eu-keen-on-balkans-reform-cool-on-accession/a-43819382
EurActiv, 17.05.18: Western Balkans remain in standby mode https://www.euractiv.com/section/enlargement/news/western-balkans-remain-in-standby-mode/
Euronews, 17.05.18: EU's summit with Western Balkan nations promises path to membership http://www.euronews.com/2018/05/17/eu-s-summit-with-western-balkan-nations-promises-path-to-membership
Euro|topics, May 2018: Western Balkans: EU accession prospects unclear http://www.eurotopics.net/en/199648/western-balkans-eu-accession-prospects-unclear
Politico, 16.05.18: Spain, France upset Brussels’ Balkan plans https://www.politico.eu/article/johannes-hahn-mariano-rajoy-emmanuel-macron-balkan-enlargement-spain-france-upset-brussels-balkan-plans/
Politico, 17.05.18: 5 takeaways from EU’s big Balkan get-together https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-western-balkans-sofia-summit-takeaways-membership-talks-enlargement/
The Guardian, 18.05.18: No time soon: EU dashes membership hopes of Balkan states https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/18/no-time-soon-eu-dashes-membership-hopes-of-balkan-states-enlargement-sofia-summit
European Commission: Press Release, 17.05.18: EU-Western Balkans summit: improving connectivity and security in the region http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-3821_en.htm
European Commission: Press conference remarks by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission at the Informal Leaders' Meeting/Western Balkans Summit in Sofia http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-18-3851_en.htm
European Council: Remarks by President Donald Tusk ahead of the EU-Western Balkans summit and the Leaders' agenda dinner http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/05/16/remarks-by-president-donald-tusk-ahead-of-the-eu-western-balkans-summit-and-the-leaders-agenda-dinner/
Sofia declaration of the EU-Western Balkans summit, 17 May 2018 http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/05/17/sofia-declaration-of-the-eu-western-balkans-summit/
European Council: Remarks by President Donald Tusk after the EU-Western Balkans summit http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/05/17/remarks-by-president-donald-tusk-after-the-eu-western-balkans-summit/
Deutsche Welle, 24.05.18: EU accession talks spark heated discussion in Western Balkans http://p.dw.com/p/2yHcp
[Interview] EurActiv: Europe needs Balkans and Balkans need Europe, says Albania PM https://www.euractiv.com/section/enlargement/news/europe-needs-balkans-and-balkans-need-europe-says-albania-pm/
[Opinion] EurActiv: China, the Western Balkans and the EU: Can three tango? https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/china-the-western-balkans-and-the-eu-can-three-tango/
ECFR: Commentary, 03.07.18: Macron's European ambition begins in the Balkans http://www.ecfr.eu/article/commentary_macron_europe_ambition_balkans
UK: GOV.UK: News, 17.05.18: Prime Minister´s message about Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Western Balkans https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-pledges-support-for-the-western-balkans

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