Poland supports EU aspirations of Western Balkan countries: deputy FM

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Piotr Wawrzyk vowed Poland's support for the EU ambitions of the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries, during the annual meeting of foreign ministers of the Central European Initiative (CEI), held in Trieste, Italy.

Polish Senate, Bundesrat heads discuss bilateral relations, regional cooperation

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“We are determined to support countries that implement the necessary reforms and observe European values,” Mr Wawrzyk declared. “We are ready to share with them our experiences from the period prior to acceding to the EU,” he added.

The CEI is a platform for regional cooperation in Central and South-Eastern Europe, established 30 years ago.

In his speech, the deputy minister stressed the importance of regional integration in building a united EU. He also highlighted that when Poland joined the CEI in 1991, it was at the beginning of its road to EU membership. Now, he said, Poland supports its partners in the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership “on the road to a better future.”

In this context, Mr Wawrzyk highlighted Poland's presidency of the Berlin Process, a diplomatic initiative linked to the future enlargement of the EU through membership of the Western Balkans countries, as well as its work towards greater integration of the Eastern Partnership countries. He expressed the conviction that cooperation with those countries is an investment in the stability of a united Europe.

“Thirty years since its founding, the Initiative of cooperation of the countries of Central Europe and South-Eastern Europe still has much to offer,” Mr Wawrzyk said.

The meeting in Trieste included the FMs of Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine.