The EU – Western Balkans summit will take at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 17 May. It will bring together heads of state or government of EU member states with the Western Balkans partners: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo*.
The meeting will be hosted by Boyko Borissov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council. It will by chaired by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk who, together with the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, will represent the European Union. The President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, the EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission, Federica Mogherini, and the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn will also attend the summit.
The Western Balkans partners will be represented by Edi Rama, Duško Marković, Aleksandar Vučić, Hashim Thaçi, Bakir Izetbegović as well as Zoran Zaev.
Representatives of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank, the European investment Bank and the Regional Cooperation Council will also participate.
The summit should first and foremost reaffirm the European perspective of the whole region. It will be centred on the theme of connectivity with a view to improving the links between the EU and the Western Balkans as well as within the region itself. The summit will also aim to boost cooperation in areas of mutual security concerns, including terrorism, organised crime and illegal migration.
The leaders of the European Union are expected to adopt a declaration with which the Western Balkans partners have aligned themselves.
On the eve of the summit the EU leaders will meet for an informal dinner to discuss innovation and digital. It will also be an occasion to discuss the latest developments in regard to the Iran nuclear deal and trade with the US.