- Title: Germany's Gabriel says EU support for Western Balkans should become more visible
- Date: 31st May 2017
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (MAY 31, 2017) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SIGMAR GABRIEL, ARRIVING FOR STATEMENT AT ASPEN SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE CONFERENCE SIGN READING FEDERAL FOREIGN OFFICE (SOUNDBITE) (English) GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SIGMAR GABRIEL, SAYING: "Because when I look at our neighbouring region (Balkans) today, a region which is so important to us, I am concerned about some developments there. This is why I am convinced all of us, especially the countries of the region, must work harder for a peaceful, prosperous and European future for the Western Balkans and for Europe at its whole." GARBIEL SPEAKING SIGN READING 'MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC' (SOUNDBITE) (English) GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SIGMAR GABRIEL, SAYING: "European Union membership for the six countries in the Western Balkans, that's the goal. Because the accession process and subsequent membership in the European Union are the best ways we can imagine to stabilise the region in the long term." SIGN READING 'THE ASPEN INSTITUTE GERMANY' (SOUNDBITE) (English) GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SIGMAR GABRIEL, SAYING: "We must also make sure that the extensive support that the European Union already provides to the Western Balkan countries becomes more visible. It should not be the case that in Serbia for example a large proportion of the population according to the surveys still believes that Russia is the country's largest supporter. If the people are completely unaware of what the European Union does, it is hardly surprising that their interest in the accession process is limited." AUDIENCE LISTENING CLOSE OF WOMAN LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (English) GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SIGMAR GABRIEL, SAYING: "We as Europeans have to take concrete steps. The European Union's enlargement process must be enhanced and given additional support. Otherwise it cannot be ruled out that the Western Balkans will slip away from us before our very eyes." AUDIENCE LISTENING GABRIEL LEAVING
- Embargoed: 14th June 2017 14:51
- Keywords: Gabriel Western Balkans EU Russia
- Location: BERLIN, GERMANY
- City: BERLIN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: European Union,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016J66IBD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Wednesday (May 31) said that the European Union needed to do more to make sure that its extensive support for the Western Balkan countries would become more visible.
"It should not be the case that in Serbia for example a large proportion of the population according to the surveys still believes that Russia is the country's largest supporter" he told the audience at a South Eastern Europe conference at the Czech embassy in Berlin.
Gabriel added that it was not surprising that interest in the accession procession was limited in the Western Balkans if most people were completely unaware of the EU actions. Concrete steps like an enhanced enlargement process and additional support were now needed, Gabriel said, in order to avoid the Western Balkans slipping away from the EU.
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