President Radev: EU Must Not Rust Western Balkan Integration

The enlargement towards the Western Balkans shouldn’t be neglected by the EU, Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev and Austria’s head of state Alexander Van der Bellen agreed at a meeting in Vienna. President Radev reminded that Bulgaria firmly supports and has accelerated the process of EU integration of the Western Balkans, but insists that the countries which become EU members must not bring unsolved neighbour relations to the union.

If the EU does not pay attention to the Western Balkan countries, a political vacuum will be created that will be filled by others, which is not in favour of the EU, Austria’s President Alexander Van der Bellen pointed out. Presidents Radev and Van der Bellen also discussed the migration topic at their meeting. This topic remains a serious challenge for the EU, President Radev said. Rumen Radev added that he had indicated the need for an operational plan a long time ago, especially for the countries with a land border where the risk of increased migration flow is highest, so that the EU can deal with sudden crises.

However, such plan has not been developed until now, President Radev went on to say. The Presidents of Bulgaria and Austria called for a revival of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region and for more active cooperation between the Danubian countries.