Fidesz lawmaker calls for EU integration of Western Balkans

Judit Varga said Hungary sees EU integration of the Western Balkans as a fundamental interest of European security and its economy.

Following an official visit to Sarajevo, Fidesz lawmaker Judit Varga said Hungary has been a committed promoter of the European Union’s enlargement in the Western Balkans, and sees it as a fundamental interest of European security and its economy.

Varga, who heads parliament’s European affairs committee, said she had attended a meeting of female politicians on EU enlargement. The foreign minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the head of the ministers’ council also met participants. In the coming days, the European Commission is set to evaluate candidates’ progress in complying with earlier requests, she said. After that, the European Council is going to weigh further decisions on enlargement, she added. Bosnia and Herzegovina, which received its candidate status last December, could be green-lighted to start accession talks, she added. Enlargement policy will be a priority of Hungary’s EU presidency in the second half of 2024. The war in Ukraine gives new weight to regions, she added. “Hungary sees Bosnia and Herzegovina as a partner and supports its accession,” Varga called on the EU to disburse convergence funding to Western Balkan countries in advance and to grant access to development funds earlier than usual. “We can’t let all resources flow to Ukraine, we need to ensure the development and security of the Western Balkans too,” she said.