The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Antonio Tajani, will chair the Ministerial Meeting on the Western Balkans tomorrow 3 April in Rome, which will be attended by the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi, the Swedish Foreign Minister, Tobias Billström, in his capacity as President-in-Office of the Council of the European Union, and the Foreign Ministers of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
The Deputy Prime Minister has underlined: “The Italian government has decided to deploy an all-round foreign policy action in the Western Balkans in the awareness that the future of Europe is decided here.” In his opinion, “we must accelerate the process of European integration of the countries in the region”. He added: “The meeting I have decided to host in Rome also serves to foster dialogue and regional cooperation. There is a strong demand for Italy in this region, and the government is in the front line alongside our Balkan friends”.
After an initial discussion among the Foreign Ministers on the path to European integration of the Western Balkan countries, there will be a discussion on the ways in which cooperation between the countries in the region and the European Union can be strengthened. In the afternoon, the works will continue with a number of round table discussions with experts on the topics of climate change, preservation of cultural heritage, and technological innovation in the agri-food sector.
Again in the afternoon of 3 April, Deputy Prime Minister Tajani, together with Swedish Foreign Minister Billström, will open a Conference organised by the Foreign Ministry together with the Istituto Affari Internazionali and the Osservatorio Balcani, Caucaso e Transeuropa entitled ” A New Vision for the Western Balkans: EU Accession and Regional Security”, which will continue in the morning of 4 April. The event – which will be attended by the Ministers of the six Western Balkan countries and by EU representatives, experts and civil society representatives – aims to promote an informal exchange of views on the medium-term political and economic prospects of the Balkan region and on concrete cooperation initiatives between the countries of the region and EU members.