Negotiations with Ukraine to join the EU raise the issue of discrimination in the Western Balkans

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European Union leaders are set to approve the start of membership negotiations for Ukraine and Moldova on Tuesday, which inevitably raises the question of what to do about the Western Balkan countries, which are stumbling on their way to the union. for years and feel discriminated against Kyiv and Chisinau, EU media reports.

The French economic newspaper "Lezeko" points out that in two days the heads of state or government of the Union should finally give the "green light" to the proposal of the European Commission to open a negotiation framework with Ukraine and Moldova, "which the countries of the Western Balkans accepted with bitterness, because the demands of Ukraine and Moldova for the start of negotiations were accepted in just a few months," Beta reported.

"Lezeko" points out that therefore "the friendly countries of the Western Balkans in the EU demand, at the very least, to simultaneously send positive signals to the partners from the Western Balkans and speed up their path to the Union".

German "Deutsche Welle" points out that Hungary, which strongly advocates the entry of the countries of the Western Balkans into the Union, and which takes over the presidency of the EU from July 1, "will advocate a consistent enlargement policy based on merit", as was presented by the Hungarian Minister for Europe János Boka, explaining the program of the Hungarian presidency in the affairs of the European 27.

"Lezeko" points out that Hungarian Minister Bock also stated that the EU must send positive messages to the Western Balkans and promote their progress.

The newspaper of the French business circles recalls that at the instigation of Austria "the club of friends of the Western Balkans was formed by seven members of the Union who demand the accelerated inclusion of that region in the membership of the European 27".

"Lezeko" adds that those EU members, namely "Austria, Greece, Italy, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, believe that if their membership is suspended, the Balkan countries would fall under the increasing influence of hostile countries, such as China".

The French newspaper points out that Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, concluded that the countries of the Western Balkans should join the membership by 2030.

"The European twenty-seven then presented that this cannot be achieved without a deep reorganization of the EU institutions and changes in the structure of the Union's budget", states "Lezeko".

The heads of state or government of the Union on Tuesday at the summit in Brussels will ask the European Commission to present proposals on this very issue, by mid-2025 at the latest.

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