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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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.

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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

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