Conditionality key to Balkans’ EU perspective

Conditionality key to Balkans’ EU perspective

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis reiterated on Monday during the teleconference of the Berlin Process for the Western Balkans, held under the German Presidency, that Greece’s strategic choice has always been a European perspective for the countries of the Western Balkans, under certain conditions.

With regard to North Macedonia, these are the full implementation of the Prespes name agreement. 

Athens, he noted, has from the outset expressed its desire for good and candid neighborly relations with North Macedonia, but has stressed this hinges on the implementation of what has been agreed. He hailed the recent steps announced by North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev to change the country’s passports with its new name. Changes are also expected to gradually occur in other state documents as well.

This is the reason, he said, why the Greek government froze for the time being the ratification of the memorandums of cooperation with North Macedonia so that it provides tangible evidence of its positive intentions. Beyond that, in the case of other countries, “conditionality” refers to the strengthening of human rights and the rule of law.

With regard to Albania, this entails the protection of the Greek national minority, which is often the subject of debate and sometimes friction between the two countries.

Apart from these issues, the central theme of the process was the promotion of regional cooperation and the strengthening of the European perspective of the Western Balkans through economic development and cooperation. 

In addition to the partners from the Western Balkans participating in the process, a number of European Union member-states also took part in addition to Greece – Austria, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Croatia, Poland and Slovenia were also present, as well as the United Kingdom and the European Commission.​​​

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