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PES President welcomes momentum towards EU Enlargement in Balkans

PES Balkans meeting

PES Balkans meeting

On the fringe of its Brussels Congress, the Party of European Socialists (PES) held a meeting bringing together party leaders from the Balkan region. The gathering, chaired by PES President Sergei Stanishev, took place only a few days ahead of the parliamentary elections in Montenegro and the publication of the European Commission’s Progress Reports.

PES President Sergei Stanishev, commenting on the meeting said: “The meeting of today reiterates once more the commitment of the European socialist family to Enlargement and the Western Balkans. Ensuring a full European role for the region will be a priority of my term”.

He added: “This year, the enlargement process has entered a new phase with renewed strength and momentum. The enlargement process is once again credible, thanks to the efforts of Commissioner Fule, who has during his mandate put the process back on track, but also thanks to the commitment of the progressive family in the European institutions, in the Member States and most importantly in the Western Balkans. PES Member Parties in the region have been a force for reconciliation, reform, strong democratic institutions and modern economies based on sustainable growth and decent jobs. This is why I am confident that the Montenegrin people will say yes in the upcoming parliamentary elections to the government of SDP and DPS, who has brought them, together with Croatia, closer than anybody else to the EU. But this is also why I deeply regret the failure to form a progressive coalition government in Serbia to ensure continuity with the previous mandate and its achievements. We will be vigilant and give every support to the Democratic Party and its leader Boris Tadic.”

Amongst the participants at the meeting were DS Serbia President Boris Tadic, DPS Montenegro President Ranko Krivokapic, SD Slovenia President Igor Luksic, SP Albania President Edi Rama, S&D Group President Hannes Swoboda as well asKristian Vigenin MEP, and Chair of the PES Task Force and EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule.

NOTE - PES Balkan agenda and other meeting participants:

The PES will continue to follow closely the process of enlargement in the Western Balkans and the recommendations of the European Commission’s Progress Reports with its yearly Balkan Conference in the region this winter as well as its upcoming Task Force meetings and Delegations. Other participants to the meeting included Achim Post, Incoming PES Secretary General, Ilir Meta, President of LSI Albania, Biljana Borzan, Member of the party Presidency and Member of Parliament, SDP Croatia, Miodrag Vukovic Member of Parliament, Chair of the Committee for International Relations and European Integration, DPS Montenegro, Tanja Fajon, Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the PES Migration and Integration Network, Libor Roucek, Member of the European Parliament and S&D Group Vice-President, Knut Fleckenstein, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament, SPD Germany, Deniza Slateva, International Secretary, BSP Bulgaria, Yonnec Polet, Head of the PES International Policy Unit and David Capezzuto, Advisor of the PES International Unit.

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