"Quality comes before speed," says EU's enlargement chief

EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn says all Western Balkan countries "realize that the conditions (for EU membership) have to be met."

Everybody realizes that the conditions have to be met, that quality comes before speed, that the strategy is not an invitation to do away with conditionality, Hahn, who is in charge of EU's neighborhood policy and enlargement negotiations, told an informal meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The meeting on Friday gathered EU and Western Balkan foreign ministers.

In its report, Reuters said that the EU "launched a new integration campaign, giving Serbia and Montenegro a tentative accession date of 2025" - because it is "worried about growing Russian and Chinese influence in the Balkans."

"But many EU members remain wary of letting in a region still scarred by wars fought along ethnic lines in the 1990s and dogged by a reputation for lawlessness," the agency writes.

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