Someone really asked: And what about the Western Balkans?
Nechamer points out that the Western Balkans is just as important geo-strategically, and he added that Macron's idea is not concrete yet.
"We need an intermediate step, which is something more than candidate status, and which essentially does not change anything, but provides an accession perspective," the Austrian Chancellor explained.
Nehammer supported that idea at the congress of the European People's Party (EPP), where the French initiative was sharply criticized, as was recently done by the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky.
Nehammer reminded that Austria was a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) and that it became a member of the EU in 1994. He rationalized his support for the French proposal by the blockades in the accession process, which the candidates are facing.
He said that there is currently no homogeneous position of the heads of state and government of the EU member states regarding the candidate status for Ukraine. Nehammer, who listened carefully to the discussion about Ukraine, underlined that we must not forget the Western Balkans.
"If Ukraine's candidate status is given the prospect of hope, and it hesitates in the Western Balkans, then the region will not understand that," he told reporters. He pointed out that the countries of the Western Balkans have already fulfilled many conditions for approaching the EU.
"There is a lot of engagement in the region and we need to take it seriously," he said, adding that Nehammer had criticized other EU members' lack of interest in the Western Balkans. He said that, with the exception of his Croatian counterpart, he was the first EU prime minister to visit the Balkans after a long time.
"That must change, because the Western Balkans is as...
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