Back 10th Meeting of Speakers of Parliaments of Southeast European Countries with the participation of the Speakers/Presidents of the V4 parliaments, 24 September 2021
The Conference of Speakers of Parliaments of Southeast European Countries was organised by the Hungarian National Assembly on 24 September 2021 in Budapest for the tenth time since its creation in 2004. The conference organized every two years since 2005 has been serving as a forum for the exchange of information with the parliaments of Southeast European countries. This year's meeting was devoted to the possibilities of the Southeast European Countries in contributing to the forming of the future of the EU.
Just like at the previous conference in 2019, Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly László Kövér also invited the Speakers of the Parliaments of the Visegrád countries to attend the conference. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Olivér Várhelyi, EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, also addressed the event. Viktor Orbán emphasized that the Balkans are an integral part of Europe, called for a political and strategic decision to be taken within the Council on the EU enlargement process, and criticised the time delaying procedure dealing with regulatory problems. He also stressed the economic and political importance of the Central European region. In his speech, Olivér Várhelyi welcomed the commitment of the Visegrád countries to EU enlargement and underlined that the current European Commission is also pro-enlargement. In his view, the enlargement policy is the instrument with which the EU's credibility can be maintained. He also called for the strengthening of regional cooperation and the implementation of reforms in the Western Balkans.
Representing the parliaments of the countries of South-East Europe, the event was attended by Aleksa Bečić, Speaker of the Parliament of Montenegro; Bakir Izetbegović, Speaker of the House of Peoples of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Glauk Konjufca, Speaker of the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo; Talat Xhaferi, President of the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia; Elvira Kovács, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia; Mimi Kodheli, Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament of Albania; Nedeljko Čubrilović, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republika Srpska BiH; István Pásztor, Speaker of the Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and Mirsad Zaimović, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Tomasz Grodzki, Marshal of the Polish Senate, Ryszard Terlecki, Deputy Marshal of the Polish Sejm, Boris Kollár, President of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, Radek Vondraček, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, and Miloš Vystrčil, President of the Senate, representing the Czech Parliament attended the meeting on behalf of the parliaments of the Visegrád countries. A statement by the parliamentary delegations of South-East Europe and the Visegrád Group on the European integration of South-East Europe was adopted at the end of the conference. In his closing remarks, László Kövér welcomed the unanimous adoption of the statement and called the event a "conference of friends of enlargement in South-East Europe". He also called for the settlement of disputes in the region in a manner befitting brothers and sisters and good neighbours.