PES welcomes Western Balkans Summit outcome

PES welcomes Western Balkans Summit outcome

Albania's Prime Minister Edi Rama welcomes Macedonia's Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski as he arrives for the EU-Western Balkans summit in Tirana, on December 6, 2022. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

A strengthened strategic partnership brings the Western Balkans closer to its European future – the Party of European Socialists (PES) says and warmly welcomes the declaration of the EU-Western Balkans summit in Tirana, Albania. The document reconfirms the EU’s full and unequivocal commitment to the European Union membership perspective of the Western Balkans and calls for the acceleration of the accession process, based upon credible reforms by the EU partners in the region.

PES President Stefan Löfven said:

“Our family has been the driving force behind EU enlargement. We have always said that the clear commitment to the Western Balkans process must be followed by action. That is why I am pleased to see a strengthened partnership agreed today. It shows that the EU and the Western Balkans have a common agenda and are already working as one community.

“This is important for the Western Balkans and for the EU. We are giving more people the opportunity for a better future and strengthening security and sovereignty. “Our sister parties in government and opposition in the region continue to make progress and they will continue to have our full support as they move towards an European future.”

Enhanced cooperation to tackle the consequences of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, the clear value of deeper political and economic ties, security and defence collaboration, and the benefits of a joint approach to migration – these areas and others prove that progressives have been right to fight for a European perspective for the Western Balkans.

The PES commends Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania, and Dimitar Kovachevski,  Prime Minister of North Macedonia, both leaders of PES associate member parties,  for their continued work to secure EU accession for their nations. The PES strongly supports these efforts.

Europe’s socialist and democrat family has backed EU enlargement to the Western Balkans for many years. In 2015 PES leaders and officials gathered in Sofia to discuss developments, and in 2018 the PES Western Balkans Summit in Sofia saw the prime ministers of Greece and North Macedonia begin discussions which ultimately led to the historic Prespa Agreement. In October 2019 PES and progressive leaders from the Western Balkans called for pre-accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia, which were achieved in 2020. The PES held further Western Balkans Summits in Slovenia in 2021 and again during the high level meeting in Prague,  Czech Republic in 2022.


Edi Rama

Leader of PS Albania and Prime Minister of Albania.