Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will co-chair, tomorrow in Berlin, together with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, the second high-level meeting on the French-German initiative on the fight against the illicit trafficking in firearms in the Western Balkans.
This French-German initiative, proposed by President Macron at the summit in Trieste on July 21, 2017, brings together the Western Balkans countries, 21 donor countries, as well a dozen international and regional organizations and agencies. It is aimed at strengthening the control of firearms in this region and combatting illicit trafficking - major common security challenges for Europeans -, while these weapons are likely to be supplied to criminal and terrorist groups.
During the meeting in Berlin, the participants will take stock of the implementation of the commitments made during the first meeting hosted by France in Paris in December 2018, notably the adoption of a regional road map for achieving a lasting solution by 2024, which the EU has decided to integrate into its strategies and action plans to support the Western Balkans, in accordance with the decisions made at the Council of the European Union on November 19, 2018. An international donor coordination group will make it possible to provide concrete financial assistance and expertise to the Western Balkans. The minister will call for renewed mobilization to ensure sustainable funding of assistance programs by 2024, in which France will play its part.
This initiative falls within the framework of the French strategy for the Western Balkans, adopted by President Macron in April 2019, aimed at increasing our support for the stabilization, economic and social development and European rapprochement of the Western Balkans.