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Statement by Taoiseach following EU-Western Balkans Summit

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar today took part in the EU-Western Balkans Summit by video conference.

The meeting, which brought together leaders from the EU and from six countries from the region, discussed the need for joint action against Covid-19, reaffirmed the journey of the Western Balkan countries towards EU membership, and highlighted the importance of shared fundamental values, including democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

In his intervention, the Taoiseach expressed his strong support for accession of the Balkan countries to the EU once they have met the requirements. He recalled how important EU membership had been in Ireland’s journey towards prosperity, and hoped that their experience would be as positive.

He also stressed the importance of respect for human rights in the region - including for the LGBTQ and Roma communities.

The Taoiseach also thanked the Western Balkan countries for their assistance in the repatriation of Irish citizens stranded as a result of Covid-19.