Western Balkan and European Union leaders met on Thursday for talks on EU enlargement.
The leaders of Albania and Serbia attended the summit after they had briefly considered not going amid disappointment over the lack of progress on milestones to becoming EU members.
"We will keep going and working even harder to make Albania a nice EU member," Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama wrote on Twitter after the meeting in Brussels.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic wrote on Twitter after the talks that his country would "fight" for an EU future for Serbia.
Speaking to reporters after the summit North Macedonia's prime minister, Dimitar Kovacevski, said: "The Russian aggression on Ukraine is a threat to all countries in the region, and, in this context, European Union enlargement to the Western Balkan should be seen as a a necessity but also an investment in the security of the European Union."
EU member state Bulgaria has been blocking the start of the accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania, angering the two West Balkan states.
Albanian Prime Minister Rama slammed what he called Bulgaria's "kidnapping" of the applications and "destroying" the spirit of Europe.
Bulgaria has demanded that issues of "common history," language and identity be discussed with North Macedonia as a precondition for the accession talks, which North Macedonia's president, Stevo Pendarovski, said was "unacceptable."
"It is unacceptable that historical issues and language disputes are included in the negotiating framework with the EU," Pendarovski told Skopje-based TV24 Casa earlier this week.
It is also an issue for Albania because the European Union treats the countries' accession as a package.
Political crisis in Bulgaria overshadows Balkan hopes
Bulgarian lawmakers on Wednesday voted no-confidence in the coalition government of Prime Minister Kiril Petkov. The political crisis tarnished the hopes of Balkan countries that they would reach a resolution.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said there might be a chance that the Bulgarian parliament could reconvene and support lifting the veto on North Macedonia.
"Nothing is ever easy on the Balkans. But I think there is a 50-60% chance you might see a breakthrough next week," he said.
What is the status of Western Balkans' EU membership bids?
The European Union got its start in 1951 as a bloc of six countries known as the European Coal and Steel Community, but has expanded over the years. It now has 27 member states.
Western Balkan countries, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Montenegro, are at different stages of the application process for joining the EU.
Accession negotiations with the European Union for Montenegro and Serbia are underway, while negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania have been pending since 2020.
Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina have submitted their membership applications, but still haven't started negotiations.
Separately on Thursday, EU leaders were meeting to decide on granting candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova, the first step in a long process to become members of the bloc.
Ukraine's widely expected fast-track route to official candidate status is seen as increasing the Western Balkans' feeling of being sidelined. But some see it as a good sign.
"From my point of view, it's good for the countries of the Western Balkans because it shows that the geostrategic importance of EU enlargement is still there and that there is movement in the enlargement process," Manuel Sarrazin, Germany's special representative for the Western Balkans, told DW.
See all the news
"Georgia will be faithful to the European path... I serve this path" - Ambassador of Georgia to France
Cavea plus-ის 6 თვის შედეგები და გამოწვევები
Gold is shining in the new geopolitical world
JSC “Rustavi Azot” was sold
We Are Creating An Innovative Co-Working Space In Tbilisi - Sergi Gvarjaladze
NG Georgia - თარგმანი ყველა ენაზე
The Rich Often Enjoy Tax Break - Deputy Minister
Israel Got Acquainted With The Business Tourism Potential Of Georgia
Kettari Foundation became a partner of DATAFEST this year
#ბიზნესსიახლეები BM.GE-სგან / 11.11.2022
საქმის კურსი - 11.11.2022 - კოლაჟი
„1500 ადამიანი უმუშევარი დარჩება“ - 38 ფარმაცევტულ საწარმოს საქმიანობა შეზღუდული აქვს
“პროდუქტებზე ფასების ზრდა იმდენად მაღალი იყო, რომ მცირედი კლება შესამჩნევი აღარ არის” - ივა ჭყონია
საქმის კურსი - 11.11.2022_17:40 - გადაცემა სრულად
მაკროეკონომიკური ტრენდები მსოფლიოსა და საქართველოში
"დღეს, ახალგაზრდები ხედავენ თუ რა ხდება მსოფლიო კულინარიაში, რას ნიშნავს იყო მზარეული, რას ნიშნავს გქონდეს ტიტული და შენი ქვეყანა გააცნო მსოფლიოს კულინარიით" - ლევან კობიაშვილი
EBRD to fund the rehabilitation of 10 metro stations in Tbilisi with €50 million project
Tata Power’s CEO Pays Visit to BMG
Turkiye generates more than $35B tourism income in 1st nine months of 2022
NEQSOL Holding has won defamation case against Communications Commission