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Monday 22.04.2019 | Name days: Armanda, Armands
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Saeima speaker: EU should start accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIntegration of Western Balkan Countries in the European Union would be a contribution to a stable and strong Europe. EU should commence accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania in June and recognize the hard work the two countries have put into democratic reforms, said Latvian Saeima’s speaker Ināra Mūrniece during an annual conference of EU parliamentary speakers in Vienna.

She added that the European Union should be active in the Western Balkan region to assist with democratic reforms, prevent external threats and disinformation. «To make euro-integration efforts of Western Balkan nations a reality, it is important to continue efforts to enhance democratic reforms, increase media freedom, support EU positions in external relations affairs and form good neighbouring relations in the region,» said Mūrniece.

«Europe’s security starts with our neighbours. This year, when we celebrate the tenth anniversary of U Eastern Partnership, our objective is actively working on this particular EU policy. We have to focus on future tasks,» said Mūrniece. «Since Euro-Maidan five years ago Ukraine has accomplished a lot in progress of its democratic reforms. It is important to continue them, especially in the court justice system and the fight against corruption. We are following presidential elections in Ukraine now – it is important for the process to meet international standards.»

Latvia’s representative said unfortunately there is no reason to expect the security situation in Ukraine to improve any time soon. «Russia still refuses to abide by the Minsk treaty. We cannot remain silent about this.»

«Security starts in people’s minds. We have to be able to defend our democratic values. We see that we are the goal of Kremlin’s information war – those of us who live in the EU, Western Balkan region, and countries part of the Eastern Partnership,» said Mūrniece, inviting other EU representatives to work on an action plan against disinformation.

This year’s conference of EU parliamentary speakers is taking place 8th and 9th April in Vienna. This conference is organized every year in spring by the country that presided over the EU Council in the second half of the year prior to the next conference. This year it’s Austria, which presided over the EU Council in the second half of 2018.


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