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Tajani, Balkans cannot wait at EU gates

Serbian newspaper, 'Italy spokesman for the region in Brussels'

11 April, 19:07
(ANSA) - BELGRADO, 11 APR - Italy's commitment to support the rapid European integration of the Western Balkans has been reiterated by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, who says the countries in the region cannot wait much longer for their accession to the EU. In an article he wrote today in the Belgrade daily Blic, Tajani says Italy intends to be the spokesperson in Brussels for the demands and expectations for integration coming from the Balkans, which must be answered quickly.

"This is why we have decided to continue the dialogue started with the ministerial meeting on April 3 in Rome, organizing a new meeting to be held before the end of the year," Tajani told the Serbian newspaper. "Italy wishes to play a leading role and is ready to play its part, as the future of our country and Europe is at stake. The Balkans cannot wait any longer," the Farnesina titular added. The countries in the region, he said, are not asking for discounts on the reforms needed to integrate into the European Union, but certainty of the process, deadlines and first of all an end result. Demonstrating Italy's renewed and strong interest in the neighboring Balkan region, and our country's commitment to a solution to the Kosovo crisis and the maintenance of peace and stability in the region, Minister Tajani has carried out missions in recent months to Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Croatia and Slovenia, the only two Western Balkan countries already fully integrated into the European Union. The goal, according to Tajani, is also to foster an intensification of economic and trade relations with the countries in the region and to possibly give common answers to common challenges such as energy transition, the green agenda, support for growth and employment, and the fight against illegal immigration. On these issues, a major Italy-Serbia bilateral economic and scientific forum was held last month in Belgrade, with the participation of hundreds of entrepreneurs and investors from the two countries. (ANSA).

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