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President Pahor commends the revival of the Berlin Process

Berlin, 3. 11. 2022 | press release

At the invitation of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, is attending the Berlin Process Summit taking place in Berlin.

During the discussion, President Pahor thanked Chancellor Scholz for reviving the Berlin Process, which is particularly important in these very challenging times. He emphasised that the Berlin Process did not replace the EU enlargement process, but rather contributed to it and promoted it. The Slovenian President expressed his satisfaction that the consensus had been reached about the EU enlargement to the Western Balkans being a geopolitical question, and that it was also important that all countries in the Western Balkans are on the European side. He further stressed the significance of enhancing resilience and achieving reconciliation.

President Pahor commends the revival of the Berlin Process
Photo: Matjaž Klemenc/UPRS

President Pahor thanked the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, for her understanding and assessed that her recent tour of the region was of great relevance.

He thanked the European Commission for the recommendation to grant Bosnia and Herzegovina a candidate status before the end of this year, which will be a significant milestone together with the visa liberalisation for Kosovo and we will be able to determine that the European perspective is again realistic.

President Pahor congratulated on the draft of important documents being adopted at the Berlin Summit today and noted that energy security was also one of the conclusions of the summit of the recent Brdo-Brijuni Process held in Slovenia in September.

The President also highlighted the significance of regional cooperation and cooperation between the countries themselves. The Berlin Process and the Open Balkan initiative are important, he assessed. They must be given content and they must advance in all possible aspects. Through European integration, the Open Balkan, which is not supported by everyone, will be disabled on its own, while the integration will be achieved and cooperation established.

The Berlin Process evolved from the Brdo-Brijuni Process initiative. The meeting organised in July 2014 in Dubrovnik by President Pahor and the then Croatian President, Ivo Josipović, was attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel as a special guest: Following the summit, Chancellor Merkel stated that it would also be sensible to establish such a format of meetings at the executive level and announced that she would soon organise and host a meeting of prime ministers and foreign and economic ministers of South-East Europe and discuss with them the realisation of the anticipated projects; this then happened on 28 August of the same year and regular meetings became known as the Berlin Process.

The meeting was attended by the heads of states participating in the Berlin Process, i.e. countries of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) and EU member states, i.e. Austria, France, Croatia, Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic currently holding the Presidency of the EU Council. The meeting was furthermore attended by the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, and the representatives of the Regional Cooperation Council and the Regional Youth Cooperation Office.

President Pahor commends the revival of the Berlin Process
Photo: Matjaž Klemenc/UPRS