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Deputy Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Keit Pentus-Rosimannus focused on the issues of the European integration of the Western Balkans in her speech at the meeting of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs in Brussels.

“A secure European Union has been one of the priorities of the Estonian Presidency, and it is not possible to imagine it without a stable and secure Western Balkan,” Pentus-Rosimannus said. “Be it the migration crisis, or the fight against extremism and threat of terrorism, the role and the cooperation of the Western Balkan are important here.”

In her speech, Pentus-Rosimannus told the representatives of the national parliaments that although the EU had enough troubles that needed to be tackled internally, it was also necessary to devote attention to neighbours and the enlargement policy. “The countries that see their future as European, democratic states based on the rule of law, and who are ready to meet the criteria that are necessary for accession to the EU, should have an accession perspective,” Pentus-Rosimannus said.

The Deputy Chairperson thinks that the European Union perspective is important in the region, but each country should be treated separately and in accordance with their progress in carrying out reforms. “During the Estonian Presidency, we have made progress with Montenegro, and also Serbia. But the developments in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have been good, too, and the same can be said about Albania as well,” she said.

Pentus-Rosimannus admitted that the process of conducting the reforms could sometimes, and in the case of some countries, be slow, but even by moving on slowly it was possible to get closer to the aim. “As the situation in Western Balkan is still vulnerable, and the forceful propaganda activities of the Kremlin have not disappeared anywhere, giving of strictly positive signals by the EU is certainly important for keeping up the good attitudes and the pace of reforms. This is what our Parliament has done during the Estonian Presidency,” Pentus-Rosimannus said.

Today Pentus-Rosimannus also spoke at the European Parliament Committee on Development meeting on “The Implementation of the European Consensus on Development and the Sustainable Development Goals”.

Riigikogu Press Service
Epp-Mare Kukemelk
+372 631 6356, +372 51 53 903
Questions: press@riigikogu.ee