Von der Leyen announces visit to Western Balkans ‘later this month’

NEWS 15.09.2021 13:39
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Source: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Wednesday that she would visit the Western Balkan countries later this month "to reaffirm the EU's commitment to the accession process," Croatia's state agency Hina said.

“Before the end of the month, I will travel to the region to send a strong signal of our commitment to the accession process. We owe it to all those young people who believe in future in Europe,” Von der Leyen said in her State of the Union speech at a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

She said that the EU was ramping up its support to the Western Balkans through the new economic and investment plan worth around a third of the region’s GDP.

“Investment in the future of the Western Balkans is the investment in the future of the European Union”, the Commission president stressed.

She announced further investments in partnerships in the European neighborhood, notably the EU’s involvement in the Eastern Partnership, the new program for the Mediterranean and further work on different aspects of the relationship with Turkey.