Peace and Development in the Western Balkans will be in Focus During EU Presidency

Deputy PM Besnik Bislimi (L) and Péter Szijjártó (R)

“Hungary, poised to assume the EU Presidency in July, pledges staunch support for stability, peace, and development in the Western Balkans,” Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs emphasized this commitment during a press conference, alongside Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister Besnik Bislimi.

The Foreign Minister underscored the urgency for accelerated integration in the region, citing its potential to invigorate the stagnating European Union. “Hungary will do everything possible during its EU Presidency to contribute to the stability, peace, and development of the Western Balkans,” he asserted, recognizing the complexity of the region but advocating for European integration as common ground.

Highlighting the lengthy accession process, Mr. Szijjártó cautioned against prolonged delays, warning that it could erode trust and support for European integration in the Western Balkans.

If we cannot speed up the enlargement policy, we will lose the momentum that is the high level of support for European integration in the Western Balkans,”

he cautioned.

Acknowledging Hungary’s active involvement in Kosovo’s stability, including its military engagement and participation in NATO peacekeeping missions, Péter Szijjártó reaffirmed Hungary’s commitment to supporting peace, development, and stability initiatives in the region. He welcomed the EU’s EUR 6B program for infrastructure and economic development in the Western Balkans, expressing Hungary’s readiness to leverage these funds during its presidency.

Minister Szijjártó also addressed migration concerns, advocating for visa-free travel for Kosovo citizens while emphasizing the need for cooperation to mitigate migration pressures.

“It is in the interest of the whole Western Balkans and Hungary as the gateway to the European Union to keep these migration flows as far away from us as possible,” he stressed, highlighting the importance of administrative cooperation in this regard.

Through his remarks, Péter Szijjártó articulated Hungary’s proactive stance in promoting stability, peace, and development in the Western Balkans, underscoring the country’s commitment to advancing European integration and addressing regional challenges.

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Via MTI; Featured Image: MTI / Szigetváry Zsolt

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