German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he will travel to the Western Balkans before a meeting of the European Council takes place next month, bearing the message that the region belongs in the European Union.
The six Western Balkan countries with EU membership aspirations – Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo – have been engaged in years-long reform process, Scholz told lawmakers in Berlin on Wednesday.
“Honoring our commitments to them is not just a question of our credibility. Today more than ever, their integration is also in our strategic interests,” he said, pointing to the influence of “external powers” in the region, including Russia. [Reuters]