European Union mulls massive funding for infrastructure works in W. Balkans - Tajani

Thaci meets Merkel Dialogue is the only alternative in the Balkans

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday said he supported Western Balkan nations' aspirations to join the bloc but added that "great care and discipline" was needed while integrating the countries with the rest of the community.

In February, the European Commission released its strategy for the Western Balkan countries called "A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans".

"This is the reason why we need to continue to work on our sovereignty, by anchoring the Western Balkans within the European Union", Macron said on the results of the EU-Western Balkans Summit, which was held in Sofia.

Earlier, EU high representative for the common foreign and security policy Federica Mogherini said that in the future membership to the EU will be enlarged with new members.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told reporters that the differences had not been resolved.

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"I believe that it took us too long since our last meeting in Thessaloniki 15 years ago, and this is why we made a decision to meet again in two years in Croatia".

"We talked about other infrastructure projects, one of which is the construction of the Nis-Pristina highway". However, clear support from the Member States to the candidates is requested.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is welcomed by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov in Sofia.

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"It is the way to use more effectively the time between now and tomorrow".

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Macedonia's accession talks are only being blocked the Greece's age-old veto, which also prevents the Western Balkan state from joining North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

While the European Union side reaffirmed its determination "to strengthen and intensify its engagement at all levels to support the region's political, economic and social transformation" in the Sofia Summit Declaration, the focus lay elsewhere.

It promises better cooperation in the fields of anti-terrorism and border control, doubles Erasmus+ financing, dedicated to the region, and expands the Western Balkans Investment Framework, by launching a set of new connectivity projects.

Last, but not least, the annex points to the completion of the Regional Electricity Market that will later be integrated within the EU's own Internal Energy Market.

The western Balkans was plagued by war and civil unrest in the 1990s and Brussels has said all would-be members from the region must crack down on corruption and organized crime and improve their democratic standards to stand a chance of joining the bloc.

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