The Balkans Can Be Consolidated Based on Togetherness, Not Nationalism

Sofia, November 10 (BTA) - An international conference of Balkan Liberals entitled "Western Balkans - Inseparable Part of United Europe" is held in Sofia. It is hosted by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF). Participating in the conference are leaders of Liberal parties from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.

Bulgaria and Romania fulfill the criteria for joining the Schengen Area and should be admitted without delay, according to Hans van Baalen, President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party (ALDE Party). In his opinion, Bulgaria is ready to accede to the euro area as well. Hans van Baalen believes that the countries from the Western Balkans should br admitted to the EU.

The Balkans can be consolidated based on the principle of togetherness, tolerance and solidarity along the road to EU membership, MRF Chair Moustafa Karadyi said. The participants voiced concern over the rising wave of nationalism and radicalism in Europe.

Asked about his opinion about the upcoming no-confidence vote in the Bulgarian Government, Karadyi replied that a government with the participation of nationalists is detrimental to the state.

The days of nationalism are over and have no future, said Graham Watson, a member of the European Economic and Social Committee.

EU-Turkey relations are also about to be discussed at the forum. "Our position is that the democratic processes in Turkey should continue as well as the negotiations on Turkey's membership [of the EU] as a part of the democratic processes," the MRF leader said. He noted that the referendum in Turkey has shown that the Turkish society is divided into two equal halves and that the half sharing the Kemalist, democratic and European values should be supported. Bulgaria as well as the other Balkan countries are interested in having a democratic Turkey as neighbour, said he.

Source: Sofia