Central European leaders are calling for more regional co-operation to combat the global economic crisis and better distribution of energy resources. The latter is a reference to the gas row earlier this year between the Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine wants EU help in paying for Russian gas. The summit was hosted in Novi Sad in Serbia, which also heard calls for the European Union to speed up entry for the Balkan states.
The Serbian President, Boris Tadic said: “Peace and stability in the Western Balkans is of the utmost importance from the point of view of the energy stability of Europe as a whole.” “That is why the full integration of our region into the EU guarantees our peace, stability and development but also the security of the European Union itself.” “In other words the European Union must not abandon the integration of the Western Balkans because in this way it will do irreparable harm to itself, “ he added. The Serbian government has set European Union membership as a priority, but the 27 nation bloc says Belgrade needs to catch war crime fugitive Ratko Mladic in order to make progress.