BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Seven Central European member states called on the European Union on Monday to accelerate the accession of Montenegro and Serbia to the bloc, saying a failure to integrate the western Balkans could pose a security threat to the whole region.
Foreign ministers and deputy foreign ministers of the four Visegrad Group countries — Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, and the Czech Republic — as well as Austria, Slovenia and Croatia met in Budapest to discuss issues including migration and the situation in the western Balkans and Ukraine.
“If we cannot speed up the European integration process (in the western Balkans) … we will have to face serious security challenges in the entire Central European region,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told a news conference.
Szijjarto said the EU should accelerate its ongoing accession talks with Montenegro and Serbia and should open membership negotiations with the other countries in the western Balkans as well.
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