Bulgarian PM Calls for Western Balkan Cooperation

During a visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Bulgarian Prime Minister called for the Balkan nations to set aside their differences and work together in the meeting of the Western Balkan leaders that will occur on May 17, 2018, in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Borisov stated: “On May 17, we must enter this council with optimism and solved problems, and to show we are ready for the inclusion of the Western Balkans. How can we enter [the EU] with problems? We are entering and give them our problems for them to solve. They have their own problems. We, the leaders of the Balkans must solve our own problems.” Borisov also said: “Peace is most important of all, everything else doesn’t matter.”

Borisov pointed specifically to the escalating tension between Kosovo and Serbia. The Serbian President recently claimed Kosovo isn’t lost for the Serbians. The partially-recognized territory broke apart from Serbia in February 2008. Serbia’s claiming of Kosovo remains the biggest setback to entering the European Union.

On the topic of potential wars and conflicts, Borisov claimed that the consequences will only hurt the Balkans. He also gave an example of the 427-year-old Stari Most bridge in Mostar, a site destroyed by the Croat military force during the Yugoslav wars that was only recently renovated. Borisov said this about the bridge: “It was destroyed for 1 second and rebuilt for 20 years.”

During Bulgaria's presidency of the EU, the country has focused on bringing the Western Balkans into the union. The Minister of Exterior said that Bulgaria is willing to help, but the Western Balkan countries will also have to do a lot of work in order to meet the criteria for entering the EU. After all, territorial disputes and potential ethnic conflict are not something a union would want to bring into its borders.

Image cropped version of source

Alex Dimchev

Alex Dimchev is a writer, editor, and weapons master for EUscoop.com

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