Dear organizers of the 29th Igman Initiative Session,
thank you for inviting me to take part in one of the important projects bringing together countries of Western Balkans and promoting peace and cooperation. Your work is crucial for the European perspective of the whole region, and I truly welcome report’s optimistic conclusion that regional cooperation at different levels and in different spheres exists and that through its further improvement it could result in relatively stable relations in the region.
In the recent months we have witnessed numerous one-sided actions by leaders who enjoy the status quo which does not contribute to the progress of their countries but rather the opposite. Situation has been especially worrying in the already fragile country Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, I remain an optimist and believe that normalisation of political atmosphere, ensuring democratic and fair elections, functioning institutions, and media freedom and pluralism are possible with strong political will.
The future of the Western Balkans lies in the European Union and commitment to the process on both sides is key. The countries must continue and deliver on the necessary reforms, enlargement process should not stagnate.
I have dedicated a great part of my work in the European Parliament to the people in the Western Balkans, and I will continue to do so. Because I strongly believe they deserve stability and prosperity, and that only with solidarity and cooperation we can make tomorrow better for the future generations from the region and the Union.