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Foreign Minister Paet: Croatia Sets Example for Western Balkan States With EU Accession

11.07.2011

No. 242-E

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet participated in a Croatia summit in Dubrovnik, where the development of the Western Balkan region and prospects for the future were discussed. “It is significant that the meeting took place in Croatia, since Croatia is a very good example and inspiration for the other Western Balkan countries interested in European Union accession,” said Paet.

Foreign Minister Paet stated that the conclusion of accession negotiations with Croatia demonstrates the vitality of the European Union’s enlargement policy and also confirms to other Western Balkan countries that the consistent implementation of reforms is the correct path to EU accession. “Although accession negotiations require effort and widespread reforms on the part of the country, it is still the fastest way to build up a society in which rule of law and human rights are respected and a market economy and free trade function,” Paet asserted.

The foreign minister added that Estonia is a firm supporter of the Western Balkan countries joining the EU. “It is in our interests for the Western Balkans to be a stable and developing region, and we continue to be ready to share our reform experience with the countries,” he said. Paet stated that we need to work more actively with developing the economic and investment environment of the region, as that is an extremely important sector. “It is important to intensify trade with the Western Balkans and also direct more investments towards the region,” he noted.


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