The Balkans taking center stage at SEECP summit

The Balkans taking center stage at SEECP summit

The Balkans will be at the forefront of this year’s annual Summit of the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) in Thessaloniki on Friday.

The presence of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and other high-ranking officials is indicative of the importance attached to the summit. Greece also sees it as an opportunity to confirm its key role in the region and its transformation into a regional energy hub. 

Tellingly, Thessaloniki was chosen as the venue instead of Athens because of the central role it plays in the Balkans. Before summit proceedings begin, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will host a dinner with the leaders of the Western Balkans. 

The EU wants to send a message that Ukraine’s European perspective does not mean that the Balkans, which have been waiting for years to join, are lagging behind.

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