BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he will travel to the Western Balkans before a meeting of the European Council takes place next month, bearing the message that the region belongs in the European Union.
The six Western Balkan countries with EU membership aspirations – Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo – have been engaged in years-long reform process, Scholz told lawmakers in Berlin on Wednesday.
“Honouring our commitments to them is not just a question of our credibility. Today more than ever, their integration is also in our strategic interests,” he said, pointing to the influence of “external powers” in the region, including Russia.
(Reporting by Thomas Escritt and Rachel More)