Petrov says hesitating with EU enlargement could further destabilise Southeast Europe

Zagreb - The prospect of EU membership for Southeast European countries is very important, Croatian Parliament Speaker Božo Petrov said in Rome on Friday, where he was attending a conference of EU parliament speakers on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.

"We must bear in mind that the prospect of European Union membership represents a desirable goal for the states in Southeast Europe as well as an incentive to carry out the necessary reforms, but also a means to defuse the potentially dangerous tensions in this still turbulent part of Europe," Petrov said. Croatia welcomes the renewed focus on and commitment to Southeast Europe, as neglect or delaying enlargement, coupled with economic difficulties and the current security issues, could further destabilise the region, which would be reflected all over Europe, Petrov said.

Addressing the conference, he said the current geopolitical situation and the new peace and stability threats demanded of politicians to deal more efficiently with European citizens' fears through better cooperation on security within the EU and stability in the neighbourhood.

In her keynote address, Italian Chamber of Deputies President Laura Boldrini recalled the historical events that set the foundations of present-day Europe.

The Treaty of Rome established the common market which facilitated the free flow of people, goods, services and capital, and today's focus of the EU member states, alongside promoting peace, freedom, democracy, equality and solidarity, should be on an even stronger integration of the European peoples in the face of the many challenges of today, said numerous participants in the conference. (Hina)

Author: Hina