EU foreign ministers back Balkans enlargement at informal meeting
A two-day informal EU foreign affairs meeting concluded on Saturday at the South Bohemian town of Hluboká after focussing on bringing in countries from the Balkans. EU foreign ministers backed offering membership to countries in the Western Balkans once they meet EU entry conditions and dropping visa conditions as soon as possible. Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg insisted at the meeting that the Balkans are part of Europe and should be part of the EU too. But that view is not shared by all 27 EU countries. Mr Schwarzenberg also warned that EU members and candidates feared the ongoing Czech political crisis could disrupt ratification of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty and the entry of new members.