Positive Dynamics in the Enlargement of the Western Balkans

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: May 17, 2022; 15:59 ♦ (Vindobona)

The future Presidency of the Council of the Czech Republic recently led Austria's Minister for Europe Edtstadler to the Czech Minister for EU Affairs Mikuláš Bek to discuss this very topic with him. The two partners discussed the impact of the Ukraine conflict and what measures the Czech Republic would be confronted with in the near future.

Mikuláš Bek and Karoline Edstadler. / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Florian Schrötter

Recently, the Czech Minister for EU Affairs Mikuláš Bek received Austria's Minister for Europe Edtstadler to discuss the upcoming EU Presidency.

As the Czech Republic and Austria are deeply rooted both culturally and historically, the two consulted about the Council Presidency. As Austria's fourth most important trading partner, the Czech Republic is an important partner in the centre of Europe and this connection must be strengthened and expanded, emphasised Karoline Edtstadler at a press point in the Federal Chancellery after the working meeting with the Czech Minister for EU Affairs, Mikuláš Bek.

Against the backdrop of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, the Council Presidency had to deal with important issues: from EU enlargement to migration and the "Fit for 55" package.

As far as Ukraine is concerned, they have common positions, as they stand together in full solidarity with Ukraine and have meanwhile adopted 5 tough sanctions packages.

The two were confident that an agreement on a further package would be reached soon. In the meantime, all member states would stand in each other's shoes and work out solutions together. They also shared the same positions on the Western Balkans: "There must finally be the next steps for countries like Albania and Northern Macedonia. A breakthrough is needed here, a visible sign for the people. We cannot afford to allow Russia's or China's influence to continue to grow in this region," said Edstadler, whose wish for the future Presidency was that the right initiatives be taken here.

The Minister for Europe concluded by thanking the Czech Republic for the open discussion and looked forward to continued close cooperation with the Czech Republic: "You have a secure partner in us.

Federal Chancellery of Austria