“The close connection and maintenance of the European perspective for the Western Balkan states are important concerns of Austria. It is with complete conviction that we are a founding member of the Berlin Process, which has supported the region with concrete initiatives and made an indispensable contribution to significant progress, particularly in the area of the rule of law,” said Federal Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein at the EU-Western Balkans Summit in the Polish city of Poznan.
The Western Balkans Conference dealt with connectivity at all levels.
Austria is already taking important initiatives in this area, which could serve as a stimulus for corresponding work within the framework of the Berlin process, said the Chancellor.
“In this context, I would particularly like to emphasise parliamentary cooperation between Austria and the Western Balkan states as an essential cornerstone of our partnership. As Federal Chancellor, I will continue to work at national and European level to build confidence and deepen the dialogue”, said Brigitte Bierlein.
At the conference, the Federal Chancellor advocated a “link between the Western Balkan states and the EU” “in line with Austrian tradition”.
In the area of EU enlargement, the government will follow Austria’s previous course and continue to push ahead with the rapprochement of the region to the European Union.
About the Berlin Process
The Berlin Process is a diplomatic initiative linked to the future enlargement of the European Union.
It started with the 2014 Conference of Western Balkan States, Berlin, followed by the 2015 Vienna Summit, 2016 Paris Summit, 2017 Trieste Summit and the 2018 London Summit.
The Berlin Process was initiated in order to consolidate and keep the dynamics in EU integration process in the light of increased euroscepticism and 5-year stoppage of expansion.
The initiative includes six Western Balkan countries that are candidates for EU membership (Montenegro, Serbia, North Macedonia, Albania) or potential candidates (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo) and the EU members Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Greece, Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and the UK.