Germany's Scholz wants Western Balkans in EU

1 minute read

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks during a session of Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany, May 19, 2022. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

Register now for FREE unlimited access to

BERLIN, May 19 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he will travel to the Western Balkans before a meeting of the European Council takes place next month, bearing the message that the region belongs in the European Union.

The six Western Balkan countries with EU membership aspirations - Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo - have been engaged in years-long reform process, Scholz told lawmakers in Berlin on Wednesday.

"Honouring our commitments to them is not just a question of our credibility. Today more than ever, their integration is also in our strategic interests," he said, pointing to the influence of "external powers" in the region, including Russia.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to
Reporting by Thomas Escritt and Rachel More

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.