European Union member states realise that, because of the refugee crisis, their security and political situation depend to a good extent on the willingness of the countries in southeast Europe to cooperate, Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic said in Berlin on Tuesday, where she was attending the seventh conference of southeast European foreign ministers.
Other states and representatives of EU member states expect much more of our region in these changed circumstances, which was very evident at the conference, and they take us much more seriously and see that their security, including the political situation, which is conditioned by the refugee crisis, depends to a good extent on our strength and willingness to cooperate, Pusic said.
The conference drew foreign ministers of western Balkan countries, Germany, Italy and Croatia, and a Slovenian representative.
"The conference addressed the political and other impacts of the refugee crisis on the countries along the western Balkan refugee route, from Greece to Germany, the issue of cooperation between western Balkan countries and the political consequences in changed conditions, then the issue of improving economic cooperation and, finally, a progress report on western Balkan countries which are at different stages of drawing closer to negotiating or are negotiating EU membership," Pusic said.
Another topic was the influence of Turkey and Russia in the region in the context of the fight against Islamic State. The ministers also discussed the danger of linking the Paris terrorist attacks with the refuge flow.