Balkan countries that will be the central stage of the SEECP Summit

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on the left speaks with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen before the Group 7 meeting at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on March 24, 2022. [Thomas Coex/Pool Photo via AP]

The Balkans will be at the forefront of this year’s South-East European Cooperation Process Summit (SEECP) in Thessaloniki on Friday.

The attendance of German Prime Minister Olaf Scholz, Chairman of the Ursula von der Leyen Committee, Chairman of the European Council Charles Michel and other senior officials demonstrates the importance of the summit. Greece also sees it as an opportunity to confirm its important role in the region and its transformation into an energy hub.

Needless to say, Thessaloniki was chosen as the venue instead of Athens because it plays a central role in the Balkans. Before the summit process begins, Prime Minister Kiriakos Mitsutakis will host a dinner with the leaders of the West Balkans.

The EU wants to send a message that Ukraine’s European view does not mean that the Balkans, which have been waiting for years to join, are lagging behind.

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