Reconciliation, regional cooperation and maintaining good neighborly relations are key factors for the European integration of the Western Balkans, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said in his speech at the leaders meeting within the Strategic Dialogue for the Western Balkans, hosted by the World Economic Forum in Geneva, the government press office reported.
According to Prime Minister Borissov, in order for the region to have stability and economic progress and change its image in a positive direction, squabbles and tensions, the language of hatred and xenophobia must remain in the past. In his words, overcoming the legacy of the past can happen on the basis of shared values such as tolerance, inclusive actions and mutual trust.
Prime Minister Borissov stressed the importance of regional cooperation and cited the Berlin Process as one of many successful examples in that respect.
“Bulgaria has proven to be a member state that can successfully take responsibility for the development of the European project. This gives us confidence that we will also be successful while holding the presidency of the Berlin Process, which is the next challenge for us,” the prime minister said. He reminded his audience that next year Bulgaria will take on this very important task together with the Republic of Northern Macedonia. Holding the presidency of the Berlin Process, Bulgaria would continue to promote the integration of the Western Balkan countries, which is instrumental in achieving sustainable stability, security, peace and prosperity in the region, he said.
Prime Minister Borissov specifically addressed Northern Macedonia and Albania, urging them not to give up their efforts on the path to EU membership. Without being discouraged, they should continue working at an unrelenting pace in that direction which will ensure the greatest chance of successful development for the entire Western Balkan region, namely European integration, Borissov noted.