President Áder: EU should speed up enlargement in Western Balkan region

“Montenegro is ready to join the EU in short order,” President Áder said.

Following talks with Montenegrin President Milo Đukanović in Budapest, President János Áder said the European Union should speed up its enlargement in the Western Balkan region.

Speaking at a press conference held together with the Montenegrin president, President Áder said that the EU should set “clear criteria and deadlines” and hold “effective negotiations”. “Montenegro is ready to join the EU in short order,” he added.

President Áder noted that NATO’s Bucharest Nine group had met on Monday, with US President Joe Biden joining the talks. NATO needs to continue to focus on “challenges from the South” such as terrorism, migration and “a political vacuum in the Western Balkans resulting from the interruption of the European integration process,” he said.

The president added that while “the EU’s enlargement policy has lost credibility”, the coronavirus crisis and economic difficulties could increase social tensions. “If we have ethnic tensions in addition, that could become a source of serious political tension and national security risks,” he said, adding he had therefore asked the new US administration to pay heightened attention to the Western Balkans and urged the EU to boost the integration process.