Poland is key partner on Western Balkans, Eastern Partnership - EU official
Poland supports the integration plans of the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership (EaP) with the European Union and is a key player in these regions, Olivier Varhelyi, EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, told PAP on Thursday.
Varhelyi is paying his first official visit since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe. The commissioner was invited by the Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz.
Varhelyi said that talks in Warsaw with the Polish authorities will concern both integration with the European Union of the Western Balkans and EaP, as well as EU support in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Poland is a key country not only when it comes to relations with our neighbours in Eastern Europe, but also when it comes to enlargement policy. These are the issues I deal with in the EC, which is why it is important for me to maintain Polish support for this policy. I am glad that we look at these issues in the same way with Minister Czaputowicz," he told PAP.
According to him, the discussions taking place in Warsaw at the highest level indicate the importance Poland attaches to this matter.
As he noted, the talks will also concern EU financial support for the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries in connection with Covid-19. Varhelyi acknowledged that the EU has already given great support to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, as they received around EUR 1 billion for urgent action against the Covid-19 pandemic. Together with macroeconomic assistance, the whole financial support package is nearly EUR 2.5 billion.
Among other topics, that are to be discussed at the meeting, will be the future EU budget for 2021-2027. Varhelyi said that negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework are ongoing in the EU.