Merkel: Brexit won't change EU entry prospects for Balkan candidates

The British decision to leave the European Union will not alter the chances of joining the bloc for Western Balkan nations, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday at a summit in Paris.

"Nothing has changed with Britain's decision. This is what these countries were afraid of," Merkel said on the sidelines of the third annual summit on the Western Balkans.

"Rather it is about the conditions that they have to fulfill in order to advance the entry procedure," she said.

Leaders from across Europe were attending the summit as part of a process that began in 2000 aimed at ultimately expanding the EU to include countries like Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia.

This year's summit includes talks on cooperating on security and fighting extremism, as well as managing the cross-border travel of migrants and refugees.

Transport and energy projects and economic development are on the agenda, and leaders are expected to sign an agreement to create a youth cooperation office between EU countries and those in the Western Balkans.

French President Francois Hollande is hosting the meeting, attended by Merkel and EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, as well as Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and leaders from Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Austria.

Last update: Mon, 04/07/2016 - 23:29
Author: 

More from Europe

British government to table Brexit bill after losing court appeal

The British government said it will table a "straightforward bill" allowing parliament to vote on triggering formal...

Ex-EU Parliament chief Schulz to challenge Merkel in German elections

Former EU Parliament president Martin Schulz is set to lead Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) into battle against...

EP Foreign Affairs Committee warns of rising tensions in W. Balkans

Members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs on Tuesday expressed concern over rising tensions and incendiary...

Gabriel set to become German foreign minister

Social Democrat chief Sigmar Gabriel is set to become Germany's foreign minister after deciding against standing as...

Gabriel proposes Schulz as the centre-left SPD's challenger to Merkel

German Social Democrat (SPD) chief Sigmar Gabriel said Tuesday he will not lead his centre-left party's challenge to...