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Focus on Western Balkans during Foreign Affairs Council meeting of EU foreign ministers on 22 May


Developments in the Western Balkans were on the agenda for the Foreign Affairs Council meeting of EU foreign ministers on 22 May. At Sweden’s initiative, a working lunch with the foreign ministers from the Western Balkan countries was held in conjunction with the meeting.

At the initiative of Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström, the foreign ministers of the six Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) were invited to a working lunch in conjunction with the Foreign Affairs Council meeting.

The meeting and working lunch were good opportunities to discuss security policy issues such as the countries’ adaptation to the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy and EU sanctions against Russia.

Additional topics of discussion included closer ties between the Western Balkan countries and the EU, and possibilities for the EU to support their reform efforts in various ways. 

Dedicating a major part of the meeting of foreign ministers to the situation in the Western Balkans was a clear indication of the Foreign Affairs Council’s desire to increase and deepen contacts with the countries in the region. Closer cooperation between the EU and the Western Balkans has become all the more important in light of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the new security environment in Europe.