European integration of the Western Balkans remains our key geostrategic and political investment to strengthen Europe's peace, reconciliation, stability and prosperity.
This is what Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said today during a working lunch with EU foreign ministers in Brussels, organized in support of the opening of EU negotiations with Albania. Prime Minister Edi Rama also attended this working meeting.
“As far as the enlargement negotiations are concerned, the opening of these negotiations will only mark the beginning and not the end of the European journey. We cannot underestimate the potential negative impact of our hesitations on the Balkans, especially when it comes to the reform process in the region. "Di Maio said.
The Italian foreign minister said that "It is since the first Council of Foreign Ministers in December that Member States and the Commission have engaged in a joint effort to transform and make the enlargement process more credible and by restoring mutual trust between the EU and the Western Balkans".
“I just visited Pristina, Skopje, and Belgrade last week, after visiting Albania in the summer. This opportunity allowed us to renew our consensus regarding future progress on enlargement and to confirm that the future of the western Balkans is in the EU.
To achieve this, the rule of law must remain the cornerstone of the enlargement process. With our collective commitment we confirm once again that we are all aware of what is at stake, including the credibility of the EU as a global player ", said Di Maio.