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Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the joint press conference on Neighbourhood and the world

The EU – Western Balkans Summit in Sofia today reaffirmed the EU's commitment towards its Western Balkans partners, reiterating the region's belonging to the European family. The Summit has set out actions to strengthen cooperation in the areas of connectivity, security and rule of law.

Сегодня на Саммите ЕС – Западные Балканы в Софии Европейский Союз подтвердил приверженность партнерам на Западных Балканах, подчеркивая, что место данного региона в европейской семье. На Саммите были изложены шаги по укреплению сотрудничества в области взаимодействия, безопасности и верховенства права.

Samiti BE-Ballkani Perëndimor riafirmoi sot në Sofje angazhimin e BE-së kundrejt partnerëve të saj të Ballkanit Perëndimor, duke përsëritur përkatësinë e rajonit në familjen evropiane. Samiti përcaktoi veprime për të forcuar bashkëpunimin në fushat e lidhjes, sigurisë dhe shtetit të së drejtës.

EU leaders will gather at an EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia in May to bolster connections with their Western Balkan partners

Improving connectivity within the Western Balkans, as well as between the Western Balkans and the European Union, is a key factor for growth and jobs and will bring clear benefits for local, regional and European economies, as well as citizens.

In the Western Balkans, the prospect of EU membership is an important driver for economic reform essential to enhance trade and investments. The trade flow between the EU and the Western Balkans has over the past 10 years more than doubled, reaching almost 44 billion Euros in 2016. Trade is largely liberalised, and more and more European companies are including the Western Balkans in their value chains. This process of business integration has been a powerful engine for creating jobs in EU member states.

The situation of media and the freedom of expression in Turkey was in the focus of a special conference hosted by the European Parliament and the European Commission on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day. The conference brought together journalists and civil society representatives from Turkey and from across the European Union. A series of discussion panels provided a platform for opinions and contributions from NGOs, journalists, independent media organisations and EU institutions on the challenges impacting freedom of expression and the media landscape in Turkey today.

À la suite de la recommandation de la Commission au Conseil concernant l'ouverture de négociations d'adhésion avec l'ancienne République yougoslave de Macédoine, la haute représentante de l'UE, Mme Federica Mogherini, a reconnu à Skopje qu'il s'agissait d'un succès pour l'ensemble des institutions du pays, pour la société civile et pour les citoyens. Elle a invité le gouvernement et l'opposition à "unir leurs forces pour franchir les prochaines étapes".

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