Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus

Statements by the Government Spokesman

“EU leaders reiterated their intention to intensify efforts to strengthen the accession perspective of the Western Balkan countries”, Government Spokesman, Mr Marios Pelekanos, said on Tuesday, 6 December 2022, referring to the work of the EU-Western Balkans Summit in which the President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, participated.

In his statements to the media, Mr Pelekanos, said that "the EU-Western Balkans Summit was held for the first time in a country of the region and, more specifically, in Tirana, the capital of Albania.

The participating leaders had the opportunity, during the discussions, to emphasize once again the importance of the strategic partnership between the EU and the Western Balkans. A relationship that becomes even more important after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

During the Summit, the leaders had the opportunity to discuss ways of tackling the consequences of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, which has increased challenges and dangers for all countries of the old continent, including its partners in the Western Balkans.

They also discussed the progress of the EU's commitment to implement policies that will contribute to strengthening the resilience of the Western Balkan countries in order for them to be able to address the challenges of our time, such as migration, the fight against terrorism and organized crime, the resolution of regional conflicts, and foreign interference.

As far as migration is concerned, our partners in the Western Balkans are called upon to manage the issue in such a way so that the phenomenon of secondary migration flows from the Western Balkans to other EU countries can be dealt with effectively.

The EU leaders also reiterated their intention to intensify efforts to strengthen the accession perspective of the Western Balkan countries, based on the principle of equality and provided that these countries will work towards and accelerate the reforms envisaged on the basis of accession procedures, for the benefit of their economies and citizens.

It is noted that the European Council will be called upon to decide, on the 15th of this month, whether the status of accession country will be granted to Bosnia and Herzegovina, on which Cyprus is in favour".

Furthermore, on the sidelines of the Summit, the President of the Republic had separate bilateral contacts with the President of Serbia, the President of Montenegro, the Head of the Presidential Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Prime Minister of Albania.