On the occasion of the next Berlin Process Summit, scheduled for today, organized by Germany, Angela Merkel said she was happy, although it would be just a virtual meeting, which would allow her to continue working with heads of state and government of the Western Balkans, launched in 2014 as part of the Berlin process initiated by Germany. She noted that much has been achieved since the launch of the Berlin Process, which aims to make a concrete contribution to regional stability and dialogue.
"The Western Balkans is a part of Europe where the wounds of war have not yet been healed and Germany is home to a large number of citizens from this region. It is clear to me that EU countries must have an interest in peaceful development in the Western Balkans. We have a responsibility for development in that part of Europe,"said Merkel.
The Chancellor said that the Berlin process has already achieved some success in this regard as well. "It is a practical contribution to peace," Merkel said, adding that mutual recognition of diplomas, co-operation in science, and progress in infrastructure projects also contributed to the move, which was characterized by steps leading to stronger cross-border exchanges of citizens and overcoming prejudices. "All this pushes the countries of the Western Balkans forward towards the common goal of meeting the conditions for EU membership. "I am convinced that, sooner or later, their future will be truly in a united Europe," she said.
Merkel noted that there are still many challenges in the Western Balkans, that "mistrust and nationalism have not disappeared and bilateral disputes can flare up at any moment, so reconciliation is needed." This, she says, "means overcoming past conflicts and doing everything possible for future generations to live in peace."