Greece reaffirms support for Western Balkans’ integration into EU

Greece reaffirms support for Western Balkans’ integration into EUCapital Podgorica, Montenegro

Greece on Monday reaffirmed its support for the Western Balkans’ integration with the EU.

“It is our firm position that the European perspective of the Western Balkans will enhance regional security and stability,” Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis said in a joint press statement with visiting Montenego’s Foreign Minister Filip Ivanovic in Athens.

“The accession perspective of all candidate states should be governed by the principle of equal performance and full respect for international Law, the rule of law, the principles of democracy, the European acquis and good neighborly relations,” he added.

On Montenegro’s accession negotiations with the union, Gerapetritis said Greece welcomed the progress Montenegro made so far.

“Greece will remain committed to promoting the candidacy of Montenegro,” he said.

Montenegro obtained EU candidate status in December 2010, two years after applying to join the bloc, with accession talks kicking off in June 2012. So far, all but two of 35 negotiation chapters have been opened.

The Western Balkan nation has long been a front-runner among candidate countries, with the EU commissioner responsible for enlargement and neighborhood, Oliver Varhelyi, calling Montenegro the most advanced in the bloc’s accession negotiations.