SOUNION: Ministers from Central Europe and European Union (EU) member states in the Balkan region met in Greece on Friday to discuss the future of Europe, including the EU’s enlargement and its energy issue.
“We need to work together to offer a new rationale for the European Union,” Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Kotzias said in his opening speech at the 2nd Ministerial Meeting of the Visegrad Group and the Balkan EU member states, which kicked off at Sounion, 75 km southeast of Athens.
“We must explain to our citizens why the EU should exist and grow stronger. We should provide a vision and reform the institutional system in a democratic manner,” Kotzias said.
The Visegrad Group consists of four countries in Central Europe — Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, while currently the four EU members in the Balkan region are Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia.
Other aspiring EU member countries in the Balkans as well as Slovenia and Cyprus also participated in the one-day meeting.
The newly established platform aims to enhance cooperation between the participating countries so that they have a stronger voice in the wider discussion on the future of Europe.