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Croatian PM urges EU to embrace Western Balkans

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Thursday (July 4) that if the European Union waited too long to embrace countries in the Western Balkans other powers would fill the vacuum.

Plenković was meeting with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Warsaw, while a summit seeking to strengthen ties between six Western Balkans countries kicked off in the western Polish city of Poznań.

Morawiecki echoed Plenković’s sentiments, saying that it was important that the Western Balkans were further integrated into the EU to secure the bloc’s borders, noting the possibility of a future migrant crisis like the one seen in 2015. He also said Poland supported Croatia’s efforts to join the passport-free Schengen area. Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia are all hoping to become members of the bloc. Serbia and Montenegro are the front-runners, but enlarging the EU requires unanimity among current members. Earlier this week French President Emmanuel Macron refused to countenance further enlargement until the bloc speeds decision-making and restores its credibility. (

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