Statement by Renew Europe/LMŠ MEPs, Irena Joveva and Klemn Grošelj on the so-called non-paper on the Western Balkans.

As part of its Presidency of the EU Council, Slovenia should first and foremost advocate for the further integration of Western Balkan countries into the EU, playing the role of a sincere mediator, rather than cheering for concrete, partial solutions that are detrimental to the region and Slovenia itself. This should also be done in accordance with European values, principles, treaties and agreements, and above all, without any Euroscepticism or – even worse – any desire to change the borders between the countries in the region. But Janez Janša’s destructive policy seems to be taking us in a completely different direction in foreign relations.

Unfortunately, we do not know what the current government is advocating in diplomatic circles towards the region, but it is true that there has been talk in these circles for some time about a change in Slovenia’s policy towards the Western Balkans. In any case, it should be clear to all that changing the borders between the countries in the region, or changing the territorial arrangement in BiH, would lead only to bloodshed. In the future, we want a BiH that is not based on the ideology of ethnic divisions, but on the European values of transcending ethnic divisions and sectarianism. Yet, let us reiterate that the desire to redraw borders along ethnic lines is unjustified and contrary to European values, which advocate strengthening regional cooperation by ensuring equal rights for all citizens of the Western Balkans, regardless of where they live. Therefore, any ideas in this regard are unacceptable, unjustified, and also harmful to Slovenia and its vital interests in the region, and in Europe. Peace and stability in the Western Balkans are of strategic importance for Slovenia, both in terms of security and economic development.

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