“We believe that the European perspective continues to be a key driving force for the transformation in the Western Balkans”, said Prime Minister Stefan Yanev in his intervention at the Berlin Process Summit that was held in a VTC format and opened by Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. On 1 January 2021, Germany took over the presidency of the Berlin Process and vowed its resolve to build on the achievements of the previous presidencies as it continues with the priorities and targets set for the region and intended to integrate it into the European rules and standards.
In the presence of the leaders Bulgaria’s Prime Minister welcomed the German Presidency’s stated will to build on the achievements of the initiative. This makes sure that the efforts continue to address the challenges and that the opportunities continue to strengthen the European perspective for the Western Balkans.
Prime Minister Stefan Yanev recalled that in 2020 when Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia were co-chairs of the Berlin Process, documents that are important for the citizens of the region were signed: the Western Balkans Leaders Declaration on Common Regional Market; and the Sofia Declaration on the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans. The Prime Minister added that the Western Balkan countries’ integration into the European family can be achieved precisely through regional cooperation with its underlying policies of confidence building, promotion of understanding, consolidation of good neighbor relations and improvement of the economic and social cohesion in the region.
Prime Minister Yanev stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on security have very much changed our lives, the sense of predictability and the idea of future and safety. Further, the Prime Minister said that in these times of challenges, the Berlin Process has demonstrated its capacity to withstand and to become a good example of shared values and positive experience, a symbol of the Western Balkan countries’ goodwill to find their way to the united European family as they overcome the differences and build confidence for the benefit of their communities and of Europe as a whole.