Deputy Minister Benedetto Della Vedova spoke today at the conference “From Yugoslavia to the European Union: the European integration of the Western Balkans and the new geopolitical challenges”, organised by Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI).
In his opening remarks, Della Vedova emphasised that Italy supports the European aspirations of the Western Balkans countries with the aim of reviving the enlargement process and restoring its credibility, overcoming the current deadlock. “We are convinced,” he added, “that the integration of the Western Balkans into the European Union is an essential step for the definitive stabilisation of the region and for the security of the European continent. All efforts must be made, the Deputy Minister added, not to invalidate the results achieved so far by the countries of the Western Balkans to conform to European standards, and to encourage the adoption of structural reforms to be adopted and implemented in order to come closer to Europe.
“We should not forget”, Della Vedova concluded, “that the process of European integration does not consist merely in adapting national legislation to the Community acquis, but in internalising the set of values and principles that underpin the common European home. “The political challenge for the Union lies first and foremost on the Brussels/Budapest/Warsaw axis. If the Union is able to tackle the violations of the rule of law in the existing member states, beyond the proclamations made, then it will be more credible in the negotiations on the various chapters for the accession of candidate countries: a Country wishing to join the Union must not only achieve the Community acquis, but above all maintain it.”