The enlargement of the European Union into the Western Balkans is one of his priorities, the EU’s incoming foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said on Monday.
Acknowledging that the EU foreign policy post, which tries to meld the competing ambitions of 28 governments, was “mission impossible,” Borrell said his priority would be the six Balkan states – Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and North Macedonia – which aspire to join the bloc one day.
Borrell said his first foreign trip would be to Kosovo, whose independence Spain has not recognized due to concerns about fanning the ambitions of separatist Catalans.
“We cannot be a global actor if we cannot resolve our problems at home,” he said.
The Balkan states are struggling to meet EU standards on the rule of law and tackling corruption but must also contend with growing reluctance among some member-states to take in new members while existing problems remain unresolved. [Reuters]