Kallas: The European Union can and must support the countries of the Western Balkans in implementing reforms

06.10.2021 | 00:00

Brdo, Slovenia, 6 October – The EU–Western Balkans summit was held in Slovenia today. The heads of state and government discussed co-operation between the European Union and the countries of the region.
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“Estonia fully supports the enlargement of the European Union in the Western Balkans. I also confirmed this separately to the Zoran Zaev, Prime Minister of Northern Macedonia,” said Prime Minister Kaja Kallas after the summit.

According to the prime minister, it is important for us that the Western Balkans be secure and stable. The European Union can and must support the countries there in implementing reforms, including developing their e-government capabilities, as well as the use of digital technologies. “I hope that we can move forward quickly in the European Union with the accession negotiations, including with Northern Macedonia and Albania,” Kallas added.

The Brdo Declaration, which reaffirms the continued desire of the European Union to move forward with the accession negotiations with the Western Balkans, was adopted at the summit. The summit was attended by the heads of state and government of the 27 Member States of the European Union, as well as of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Northern Macedonia.

During the bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Northern Macedonia Zoran Zaev, Kallas discussed bilateral relations and the opening of accession negotiations. The prime ministers discussed in length the cooperation on the development of digital security and e-government and expressed satisfaction with the recently signed tripartite cooperation agreement with the United States, which provides concrete steps and tools for the development of e-government. The latter is implemented by the Centre for Development Cooperation together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At an informal meeting of the European Council held last night, the heads of state and government discussed the role of the Union in the international arena and discussed recent developments in Afghanistan, the EU-China relations and thedefence cooperation agreement between the US, UK andAustralia.

The prime minister will return to Estonia this evening.

Photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmWRnxpr

Government Communication Office