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Minister McEntee embarks on three day visit to the Western Balkans

European Union, Diplomatic Relations, MoS McEntee, Press Releases, Europe, 2018

 

The Minister of State for European Affairs, Ms Helen McEntee, T.D, begins a three day visit to the Western Balkans today (Monday, 29 January). During her visit she will have an extensive schedule of appointments, including meetings with the Prime Minister of Serbia, the Minister for Foreign Affairs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Minister for European Affairs of Montenegro. All three countries aspire to join the European Union and the Minister of State will avail of the visits to encourage them in the reforms they are undertaking as part of their European integration.  

Speaking in advance of the visit, Minister McEntee said:

“I am very pleased to have this opportunity to visit Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Ireland is a supporter of a European perspective for these countries, and the other countries of the Western Balkans. We see the accession process as important for the security of the European Union, and for the stability and prosperity of the Western Balkans.

I am looking forward to seeing at first-hand the progress each country is making and I want to see how we can support them on their respective European paths.  It is important that all the necessary conditions and benchmarks required to fulfil the EU criteria are met in full before any country joins the EU.  We believe that the Union should welcome countries which share our values and are ready to take on the responsibilities of membership.”

 

ENDS

 

Press Office

29 January 2018

 

Note to editors:

Minister McEntee will travel to Serbia on 29 January, before travelling to Bosnia and Herzegovina on 31 January, and will undertake engagements in Montenegro on 2 February.

Montenegro and Serbia are candidate countries for EU membership and Bosnia and Herzegovina has submitted its application for membership.  A strategy for enlargement will be published by the European Commission in early February and European Union Heads of State and Government will attend a summit on the Western Balkans in May 2018.