03 November, 2017
Resolution on the western Balkans
Adopted by the UEF Federal Committee, 22 October 2017, Paris

Whereas:

-     The process of European integration was conceived with the aim of preserving peace on our continent and has contributed enormously to the historical reconciliation between the peoples of Europe;

-     EU enlargement has been one of the most successful European policies by promoting economic growth and strengthening of democratic principles in countries which have suffered from totalitarian regimes;

-     In the past, the Western Balkan region has experienced numerous conflicts, which have hindered its Euro Atlantic integration;

-     The European Union and the Western Balkan countries share a vision of a common future, and that the accession process needs to remain the key perspective for Western Balkan countries;

-     Given the increasing influence of third countries - particularly as regards both political and financial aspects as well as disinformation campaigns, especially from countries from the east and the south — our European solidarity, engagement and support are needed in order to counteract antidemocratic trends;

-     The 2003 Thessaloniki Summit has  pinpointed the integration of the Western Balkan countries as one of the main goals of the EU contributing to consolidating democratic norms and principles, establishing functioning market economies and achieving peace and stability;

In its resolution from 27 March 2011, the UEF Committee stresses the importance of EU enlargement, which it is inevitably linked to the notion of accomplishing the European Project. In his Political Guidelines the President of the European Commission has stated that no further enlargement will take place during the current mandate;<s> </s>

The UEF Federal Committee, meeting in Paris on 22 October 2017,

Recognizes the importance of stimulating Western Balkan countries to participate in various EU initiatives and policies before their accession, as in the European Strategy of the Danube Region for example in the areas of transport, digital and energy connectivity; Believes that the improvement of transport and energy links and the abolition of roaming charges between the Western Balkans and the EU would demonstrate the tangible benefits of European integration;

Believes that the EU should not get caught up in enlargement fatigue, but rather offer a credible European perspective to the countries in the Western Balkans, while at the same time change the Treaties to abolish the unanimity rule and thereby make decision making effective and democratic in a EU with over 30 Member States;

Urges the Western Balkan countries to pursue necessary reforms on their way to becoming a part of the EU and underlines the important role of civil society organisations that adhere to the principles of democracy and the rule of law;

Welcomes Serbia’s EU negotiation progress and encourages the country to continue aligning its foreign policy with the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy;

Welcomes the accession of Montenegro to NATO and its progress towards full EU membership; commends the signing of the bilateral “Treaty on friendship, good neighbourliness and cooperation” between the FYROM and the Republic of Bulgaria, which demonstrates the willingness of both countries to recognize their common history and leave conflicts in the past. 


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