Sweden pledges new momentum for Western Balkans

BRUSSELS, Belgium

The Swedish presidency of the EU vowed on Monday (July 27th) to give new momentum to the integration of the Western Balkan countries this fall. Speaking to journalists in Brussels, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and Swedish EU Affairs Minister Cecilia Malmstrom downplayed fears that accession of the Western Balkans will slow.

“There are obstacles to be surmounted, and I believe that almost everyone in the EU Council of Ministers sees the necessity of giving new momentum to the inclusion of the Western Balkans,” Bildt said. EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn also downplayed any concerns about opposition to further enlargement, noting the recent decision to remove visa requirements for citizens of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro demonstrates the EU’s commitment to the region.

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