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Brussels: Public dialogue on importance of EU enlargement is crucial for region’s European future

Brussels: Public dialogue on importance of EU enlargement is crucial for region’s European future
Published date 31.03.2017 17:00 | Author PR Service

Ispis Print

PR ServiceBrussels, Belgium (31 March 2017) – The European Union, with all its complexities and challenges, undoubtedly provided to its members the longest period of peace, prosperity and solidarity in the known history of Europe and the enlargement policy is a key element of that success, Minister of European Affairs Aleksandar Andrija Pejović said.

In his opening remarks at a roundtable on the topic "EU's enlargement policy and the European future of the Western Balkans - challenges and future of public communication" in Brussels, Minister Pejović said that the political voice of a united Europe must be much louder and much more involved in aspiring countries and EU member states, in order to override the simplified and catchy messages of populism and false news.

He said that there is no doubt that the process of accession to the EU is a strong driving force of reform in the Western Balkans which improves the quality of life of citizens.

"Since we started European journey, as an independent state in 2006, average salaries and pensions in Montenegro have been more than doubled. Our citizens can now travel freely across Europe, students, lecturers and researchers have access to many opportunities for education and research funded by the EU, while our farmers are already receiving considerable expertise and financial support from the EU," the Minister said.

Director for Western Balkans in the European Commission Genoveva Ruiz Calavera named Montenegro as a good example of communication of European values and the concrete integration process benefits that citizens enjoy.

"Montenegro is a very good example of a country in which we work together to explain to citizens the importance of this process," Calavera said, adding that the dialogue with the citizens needs to be further strengthened and promoted and reiterated the clear European perspective of the Western Balkans.

SEECOM Association President and Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria Ognian Zlatev stressed the need for better coordination and joint strategic approach to communicating the enlargement policy, with the participation of institutions, civil sector and the media, both in the Western Balkans and the EU member states.

Director of the KAS Media Programme South East Europe Christian Spahr and Head of Unit for Communication of the Directorate General for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Klaus Giering spoke at the roundtable.