Minister: EU has continuously positive influence on Balkans ({{commentsTotal}})

Defence Minister Margus Tsahkna (left) and Foreign Minister Sven Mikser at the joint session of the EU's defense and foreign ministers in Brussels, Mar. 7, 2017.
Defence Minister Margus Tsahkna (left) and Foreign Minister Sven Mikser at the joint session of the EU's defense and foreign ministers in Brussels, Mar. 7, 2017. Source: (Välisministeerium)

The European Union needed to continue its cooperation with countries of the Western Balkans in their present difficult situation, as it had had a continuously positive influence on the region, Foreign Minister Sven Mikser (SDE) said at a meeting of the EU’s foreign ministers in Brussels on Tuesday.

In the meeting, the foreign ministers discussed developments in the Western Balkans, cooperation opportunities with Egypt, and the external dimension of migration, spokespeople for the Estonian Foreign Ministry said.

The EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Federica Mogherini, gave an overview of her recent visit to the Western Balkans region. According to Mikser, the ministers are worried about the recent deterioration of the political situation in the area. 

“It is in all our interests to guarantee stability and promote democratic values in our immediate neighborhood,” Mikser said. “The continuous presence of the EU in the Western Balkans, and a clear EU perspective help minimize the negative geopolitical impact,” he added.

The union’s heads of state and heads of government are set to discuss the issue at the European Council summit this week as well.

The ministers also discussed relations and cooperation opportunities with Egypt. Mikser said that Egypt was an important partner for the EU, and that enhanced dialogue and cooperation should be established between Egypt and the union.

“We need to find opportunities to work together in the areas of migration and the fight against terrorism. Cooperation is necessary to guarantee regional security,” Mikser said. “The EU can support Egypt in implementing economic reforms, and strengthening the rule of law and its civil society.”

The relationship between Estonia and Egypt includes cooperation in the fields of ICT and e-governance.

Another topic dealt with at the meeting was implementing decisions related to the external dimension of migration, especially the Action Plan of the Malta Declaration, which lists ten activities to minimize the migration flow as well as complementing the partnership framework between the EU and third countries.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS

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