BERLIN (Reuters) – The European Union must support the Western Balkan countries in their bid to join the bloc as soon as possible as part of its strategy to secure regional peace, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday.
“In the European Council, determined as never before, we will agree tomorrow and the day after a new European security strategy,” Scholz told the Bundestag lower house of parliament.
Scholz said Europe needed to strengthen its crisis resilience regarding economic policy but also new technologies and cyberspace, as well as support Western Balkan countries in their EU membership bids.
Many in the Balkans doubt the EU’s pledge, first made 18 years ago, to eventually admit Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania to the bloc.
(Reporting by Paul Carrel and Miranda Murray; Writing by Sarah Marsh)