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Enthusiasts Steinmeier on the encouragement tour on the western Balkans

07:40  29 november  2022
07:40  29 november  2022 Source:   dw.com

Tour de France. The 2023 edition will not go through any department of the West

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About one, the states of the western Balkans cannot currently complain: lack of German attention. On the contrary. In mid-June, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) went on a two-day flash tour through the region, and at the beginning of November he organized a summit in Berlin with the Prime Minister of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will also meet two of them if he is now traveling to Northern Macedonia and Albania.

Bundespräsident Frank-Walter Steinmeier reist heute nach Nordmazedonien und Albanien. © Uwe Anspach/dpa Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier today travels to northern Macedonia and Albania.

His objective is identical to that of the Chancellor. The Federal President's Office speaks of a visit to the "encouragement". Encourage to create the prerequisites for EU recording in the course of the accession negotiations that have just started. And probably also a little encouragement so as not to lose faith in the EU. Because both states have been waiting for almost two decades to get to the exclusive EU club. As early as 2003, the EU had promised all six Western Balkans.

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Chancellor Scholz formulated it as follows at the Western Balkans summit in Berlin: «The six states of the western Balkans belong to the European Union. They are part of Europe and part of the European family. » The Chancellor revived the “Berlin process” this year, which his predecessor Angela Merkel (CDU) had launched in 2014. The format is intended to advance the EU approach of the Western Balkans. But almost nothing happened for years.

Steinmeier: Do not forget western Balkans

Steinmeier now said the German Welle with a view to his visit to Skopje and Tirana: «I understand some impatience, but like many others, I will also assure that the western Balkans will not forget is." The journey to the two countries is to be understood as a message to the entire region. "If the corresponding progress is reached domestically, the path towards membership of the European Union will become more manageable." It "depends on the national willingness to reform and the willingness to implement the reforms."

FOKUS 1-three Agreement on Western balcangic peak planned

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Important keywords here are: the rule of law, combating corruption and economic reforms. Steinmeier certified both countries that they have already "taken decisive steps forward". The Federal President is expected to set these messages if he speaks in parliament in Skopje with head of state Stevo Pendarovski and Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski. On Thursday, the same program will follow in Tirana with President Bajram Begaj and Prime Minister Edi Rama as well as a speech in parliament.

process of “screening” runs

for northern Macedonia such as Albania, the starting signal for the EU accession negotiations on July 19 with government conferences in Brussels. They initiated the process of “screening”, in the course of which EU officials check whether the national law of the candidate countries requires adaptation to EU legal regulations.

North Macedonia, which was a Yugoslav part of the Republic of Yugoslav, under the name Macedonia until 1991, is better positioned with regard to administration, justice and business than Albania. In the last country report in October, the European Commission found a “medium -sized status” of the preparatory degree in important areas such as the judiciary, public administration and competitiveness of the economy. However,

North Macedonia suffers from nationalist ambitions of its neighbors, who, like Bulgaria, blocked the EU process until recently. Among other things, it was about the interpretation of partial history and the rights of the - a few - ethnic Bulgarians in northern Macedonia. The country must now change its constitution. This requires a two -thirds majority in parliament. However, this is more than questionable because the nationalist opposition required for this does not want to give their consent.

Music: Jacques Dutronc interrupts the tour with his son Thomas and "farewells" to scene .
© AFP/Bertrand Guay Thomas Dutronc alongside his father Jacques Dutronc for the launch of the Dutronc & Dutronc tour, in April 2022. on tour since April 2022 with his son Thomas, the famous singer Jacques Dutronc decided to withdraw from the scene after a performance at Accor Arena in Paris, while other concerts were planned in France until February 2023. "It stops because my father prefers to stop now".

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