High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini stressed today at the informal meeting of the EU defence ministers in Vienna the EU cooperation with Western Balkans partners in addressing common challenges in the area of security and defence. "We have a good cooperation, including participation to our European Union missions and operations from the countries in the region and we want to strengthen cooperation on security and defence with all the Western Balkans countries."
The Western Balkans partners have come a long way in the past 20 years and have now made steps towards becoming security providers themselves with their contribution to EU CSDP missions throughout the world.
High Representative also welcomed the commitment of the Austrian Presidency to keep the region on the agenda: "The Austrian Presidency is remarkably working on keeping the Western Balkans high on the agenda of the European Union, as the Bulgarian Presidency has done, and I expect the Romanian Presidency will do afterwards. So we discussed with the Ministers, together with NATO and the United Nations – our key partners in the region – how to increase our cooperation on security and defence in the region, which is an integral part of our work with the Western Balkans."
High Representative is chairing the informal meeting of EU Defence Ministers which is taking place in Vienna on 29 – 30 August and is being followed by informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers (30-31 August).