Belgrade, 14 September 2021 (TDI): The German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. Later both leaders held a joint press conference.
The German Chancellor stated that it is in ‘absolute geo-strategic interest’ of Europe that the western Balkan states join the European Union. The Chancellor emphasized the timeline for joining the European Union. She stated that the western Balkan states still have a ‘long way’ to go.
The German Chancellor was referring to the biggest obstacle in Serbia’s path to joining the EU – its relationship with Kosovo. Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Serbia still does not recognize Kosovo. Merkel made it clear that there can be no accession in the EU without resolution of this issue.
Both Kosovo and Serbia are engaged in a bilateral process, and Merkel remarked that the outcome depended on that process. Merkel’s visit is a continuation of the ‘Berlin Process’, initiated to address problems related to the integration of Balkan states into EU.