Sweden and Czech Republic Believe Country Should Immediately Start EU Membership Negotiations

The priority of Stockholm and Prague during their presidency of the European Union will be the Western Balkans and the progress of the countries in the region in the reforms aimed at respecting European values. This was announced by Foreign Ministers of Sweden and the Czech Republic, Ann Linde and Jakub Kulhanek. According to Belgrade correspondent, the Czech Republic will hold the EU presidency from July 2022, after which Sweden will take over the presidency in January 2023. “I would like to hear a promise at the EU-Western Balkans Summit during the Czech presidency, to hear a promise of a specific date for, say, Serbia, Albania and North Macedonia to join the EU,” Kulhanek told at a joint news conference with Linde. The Swedish Foreign Minister stressed that everything depends on the progress in the reforms that must be aimed at respecting the European values ​​in those countries. “The Balkans is of the utmost importance. Albania and Macedonia have met the conditions for the start of negotiations and they should start immediately,” Linde said. Minister Kulhanek reminded that the EU has been promising the European Balkan countries a European perspective for many years, and is not able to fulfill those promises. “The enlargement process will take years, but it is necessary to send a signal that we are counting on those countries. This will benefit not only the countries of the Western Balkans, but the entire EU. That would help, for example, in dealing effectively with illegal migration,” said the Czech FM.