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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.

Following the Commission recommendation for the Council to open accession negotiations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini in Skopje recognised this as an achievement for all the institutions in the country, the civil society and the citizens. She invited both government and opposition to ‘join forces for the coming steps to be taken’.

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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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On an official visit to Albania, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini acclaimed a "collective acknowledgement" of the country's progress towards EU standards and eventual membership, and called for a "collective responsibility" from the leaders, institutions and people of Albania for continued reforms. The European Commission on 17 April recommended opening EU accession negotiations with Albania.

“A step forward today for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania is a step forward for the entire Western Balkans region. The work on reforms and modernisation however needs to continue, in the interest of the partners and the European Union," said the High Representative/Vice-President of the Commission Federica Mogherini who together with Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn presented the annual Enlargement Package in the European Parliament in Strasbourg today.

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