[EWB Interview] Linkevičius: EU accession is a performance-driven process, europeanwesternbalkans.com, October 10, 2017
During the Riga Conference 2017, European Western Balkans spoke with Linas Linkevičius, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Lithuania. We spoke on Juncker’s Strategy for successful accession of Serbia and Montenegro, Russian interests in the Western Balkans and Serbia’s military neutrality.
European Western Balkans: President Juncker said that Montenegro and Serbia, as front-runners of the process of EU integration of the Western Balkans, should join the EU by 2025. What is Lithuania’s position regarding this?
Linas Linkevičius: The process is generally positive and I can say that we are very much in favour of enlargement. When we are talking about the Western Balkans, we said that accession depends on the willingness of the countries and definitely on their performance. It is not a calendar based, it is performance-based process, so you cannot mention any years. it should be done consequently, but we would like to see the Western Balkans as a part of the Euro-Atlantic community. That would be our vision, but it is up to the countries themselves. It is important to mention alignment with European policy, values and principles. Here we have the reminder that this is important, and it is also important for my country.