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The European integration of the Western Balkan countries will strengthen the European Union and consolidate peace, solidarity, prosperity in the Balkan region, Prime Minister and Chairperson of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Viorica Dancila stated at the signing event of the Joint Declaration on the integration of the Western Balkans countries in the EU.

The document was signed, alongside the Romanian Social-Democrats, by President of the Party of European Socialists Sergei Stanishev and representatives of the centre-left wing parties of Greece, Croatia, Hungary, North Macedonia, Montenegro, the Republic of Moldova, Albania, Serbia.

"It is a significant moment for our countries and the centre-left wing movement in the Balkan region. Moreover, also signed today was the Cooperation Agreement between the Social Democratic Party and the guest parties, in order to institutionalise the mutual support for achieving some common objectives. (...) Through the Joint Declaration signed today in Bucharest, the Social Democratic Party, but also the centre-left wing parties from Croatia, Greece, Bulgaria and Hungary are committing to endorse even stronger the Western Balkans countries, an important support, a support on the European journey, a support that will be increasingly obvious in the discussions in Brussels, but also through the cooperation in the next period. I will convey the text of the Joint Declaration to the European Commission, thus, presenting in Brussels a new proof of regional solidarity, but also our wish to speed-up the integration process of the Western Balkans in the European Union. I assure you that Romania and the PSD will firmly endorse, from within the EU, the European aspirations of our neighbors and friends in the Balkan region. (...) The European integration of these countries will strengthen the European Union, it will consolidate peace, solidarity, prosperity in the Balkan region," Viorica Dancila stated.

The PM underscored that, just as other countries joined the EU, such as Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Greece, the Western Balkans countries and the Republic of Moldova, and Georgia "have this right."

"Despite all obstacles, despite all challenges, the European Union remains a great successful political project which contributed and decisively contributes to the freedom, development and welfare of Europe. I believe that the enlargement process has to further be at the core of the EU's concerns and we will continue to be advocates of this approach in Brussels and in all the capitals of the member countries. I am confident in our common future and in the Social-Democracy force to be the engine of the European Union's enlargement," Dancila also said.

President of the Party of European Socialists Sergei Stanishev said that he is extremely glad that the party's political family has always been a viable option in view of the EU's enlargement for the Western Balkans countries.

Sergei Stanishev added that, despite all the difficulties of the enlargement of the EU and the Union itself, the displayed initiative and the actions undertaken told the European Union to take responsibility, be credible in the Union's enlargement process. AGERPRES (RO - author: Daniel Florea, editor: Mihai Simionescu; EN - author: Rodica State, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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