Macron: EU summit decides to back Iran deal, protect European businesses

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 18, 2018

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".

Despite the fact that French President Emmanuel Macron, with whom the prime minister met at the summit, is cautious about the enlargement, according to Pellegrini, Slovakia will support the accession of these countries to the European Union, even though he admitted that the European Union enlargement isn't a question of the next year or two. "The EU is and will continue to be the most important partner for the Western Balkans".

According to Ratas, the European Commission supports efforts to agree on a permanent exception from the US import tariffs on steel and aluminium.

The heads of state and government of the EU as well as the Western Balkans met on Wednesday evening, responding to an invitation extended by President of the European Council Donald Tusk to discuss matters like innovation and digital development.

"Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, someone could even think with friends like that who needs enemies", Tusk told reporters in Sofia on Wednesday.

Tusk said that while there were low expectations regarding Iran, there were high expectations regarding Washington.

Serbia and Montenegro are already in membership talks and the Commission has suggested they could join the European Union by 2025 - a target regarded with considerable skepticism by some officials in Brussels and European Union governments. Bulgaria's prime minister recently warned Russian Federation and China will otherwise gain toeholds in the region.

Mr Babiš said the Czech Republic, along with other V4 countries, including Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, were critical towards the European Union for not providing the West Balkan states with any specific dates. "But I think we need to look at any new enlargement with a lot of prudence and rigor", Macron said.

"We reaffirmed our mutual commitment to the European perspective for the whole region".

"The summit may be a symbolic act, but it can again trigger a little more dynamism", he said. "We don't want that to happen".

These include a bitter and long-running dispute between Macedonia and EU-member Greece over its name, which Athens insists refers to its own northern province.

Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, was notably absent after he announced he wouldn't share a table with Kosovan representatives.

The EU is also wary of admitting new members before they settle their differences, particularly in a region still bedevilled by the aftermath of the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

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