Hungarian foreign minister: Not all western Balkan countries can join EU

Hungarian foreign minister Peter Balazs said that is unrealistic to expect that all western Balkan countries would be eligible to join the European Union by 2014, as proposed by Greece.

Hungary, however, remains prepared to help towards the region’s future European integration, the minister said during a meeting in Budapest on March 29.

During discussions in Budapest, conducted by foreign ministers Vuk Jeremic and Dimitris Droutsas, of Serbia and Greece respectively, and their Hungarian counterpart, Balazs said that the 2014 deadline for EU entry was “unrealistic”. The western Balkan countries will not be able to comply with all the respective parameters and criteria necessary for their acceptance, he said.

On March 30, the foreign ministers also met their Croatian counterpart, Gordan Jandrokovic in Budapest.

Croatia’s ratification process towards entry in the union should be launched in 2011, but for Serbia and Macedonia “a few more years are necessary”.

“Hungary wishes for the entire region to move forwards towards EU integration and for the discrepancies between the countries in the region to be minimised,” Balazs said.

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