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Slovenia to concentrate EU attention in Western Balkans

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Slovenia to concentrate EU attention in Western Balkans


Kosovo is one of the main focal points of meetings being held today in Slovenia. Almost all the members of the European Commission have been paying the customary courtesy visit to the country that is just beginning its turn holding the six-month rotating EU presidency. Commission vice president Margot Wallstrom was filling in for president Jose Manuel Barroso, who she said had the flu.

Host prime minister Janez Jensa talked about the main priorities: “We place great importance on the Western Balkans, the coordinated starting out point being the question: what will their future be. This entails looking for solutions that will lead to long-term stabilisation of the region.”

Slovenia, the first of the mostly ex-communist members that joined the EU in 2004 to hold the bloc’s presidency, favours closer ties with Serbia, but Enlargement Commissioner Ollie Rehn said this would still depend on its cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia: “It is essential that everybody in Serbia realise that this condition remains and it is essential for concluding the stabilisation and association agreement.”

Jensa’s main priorities on the bloc’s agenda are building a unified EU position on the status of Kosovo, the Western Balkans, an environmentally viable energy plan, and taking care not to muddy the waters in the context of the member states’ ratification of the EU’s new reform treaty.

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