The Minister of foreign Affairs of Poland Jacek Czaputowicz together with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dačić on Wednesday opened the 2nd of the Belgrade conference at which Poland shares his experience of the period prior to accession.
In his address, Minister Czaputowicz stressed that Poland has always been a staunch advocate of the EU’s enlargement policy and continues to support Serbia’s EU accession bid.
“Poland has offered Serbia assistance on its path to the EU through such multi-lateral fora as the V4+ (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia plus regional partners – PAP), parliamentary sessions or partner projects. Based on our own experiences from the implementation of necessary reforms, we focus on the exchange of our pre-accession know-how and best practices,” the minister said.
Poland believes that the enlargement process will contribute to the stability and prosperity of the Western Balkans and all Europe, Czaputowicz said.
At the same time the foreign minister expressed satisfaction with the new dynamics of the accession process with regard to Western Balkan countries as evidenced at a recent summit in Sofia.
This year’s Belgrade Conference will focus on the justice system, agriculture and security. The first edition of the conference was held in Warsaw last year.
The inauguration of the event was the first point on Czaputowicz’s agenda of his official visit to Serbia.
Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia have been making efforts to acquire EU membership. The countries’ leaders met with their counterparts from EU member states at an informal summit in Sofia in May, holding their first talks in such a format in 15 years. EU leaders reaffirmed the accession prospects for the Western Balkan countries.
However, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki admitted after the summit that the EU is divided on the issue of accepting new Western Balkan members, while Poland argues that the advantages of such a move far outweigh the risks.
The next EU-Balkans summit will be held in Croatia in 2020.