Spanish Ambassador to Serbia Inigo de Palacio Espana has stated that Spain’s policy towards the Balkans is stable. No substantial changes can be anticipated following the recent restructuring of the Spanish government, he said.
Spain’s policy continues to bear in mind the need to have a common approach to the Balkan region, to ensure stability and prosperity and soon full integration of the regional countries into the EU. This also represents Spain’s national interest, the ambassador declared.
Spain is the largest and economically most developed country among the five EU member states which have refused to recognize Kosovo. Spain has been a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for many years so far. In 2009, the country withdrew its contingent from the international peacekeeping force (KFOR) in Kosovo.
De Palacio Espana noted that the fact that Spain has not recognized Kosovo until now has not prevented Madrid from engaging constructively with all its partners in the EU and outside of the Union to support a better future for all in the region, including Kosovo.
“We demonstrated our constructive spirit during discussion on the Serbia-EU Resolution on the advisory opinion of the International Criminal Tribunal in the UN General Assembly in September, engaging with all in order to secure the best possible outcome,” the ambassador said.
On the occasion of the Monday decision of 27 EU foreign ministers to forward Serbia’s EU candidacy application to the European Commission (EC), which was the first decision that Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez took part in, he underlined that Spain has been among the strongest supporters of a quick answer to the aspirations of Serbia to move fast in its integration in the EU.
“We are very satisfied with the decision adopted by the General Affairs Council in Luxembourg on October 25. The clock has really now started ticking for Serbia’s aspirations and we remain convinced that in the coming months Serbia will be able to make swift progress in its candidature, presenting the answers to the EC questionnaire and moving towards receiving candidate status. We shall continue to support Serbia with determination in this regard,” the Spanish ambassador said.