According to the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, it is now time to open accession negotiations with Macedonia and Albania. “Europe will be a strong global force only if we complete the work to stabilise our own continent, and to make war impossible in an irreversible inside Europe – all of Europe. Because every time I say that Europe has been in peace for 60, 70 years, I am reminded, and rightly so, of the wars in the Balkans that happened only 20 years ago. To do so – to make war impossible inside our continent – we need to unify Europe, bringing the Balkans within the European Union. In these years we have achieved some crucial steps: the Prespa agreement between Greece and North Macedonia, important progress – even if with difficult setbacks – in the talks between Belgrade and Pristina, some crucial reforms all across the region and in each of the six partners we have in the Western Balkans. And most importantly, a completely new awareness in the region, among the leaders and the people of the region, that cooperation among them is more convenient than confrontation. This is the very same basic principle that is at the origin of the first steps towards the European Union, after World War II. We stopped fighting each other in the moment we realised that making business together was much more convenient than fighting each other. To consolidate this progress in the Balkans, it is now time to open accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania. And I hope our leaders will take the right decision in the coming days,” she said in a speech on “The EU’s Role as a Global Player for Peace and Stability” at Oxford University on Tuesday.