Foreign ministers of the Visegrad Four countries will meet their counterparts from six Balkans states in Prague on Feb. 26 and 27, one month before the EU summit negotiations on opening accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania,
The V4 countries have long supported the enlargement of the Union to include the Balkan states.
The main topic of the two-day meeting with representatives of Serbia, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia, and Kosovo will be the debate on the EU enlargement process.
Ministers will also look into the work of the Western Balkans Fund, which the V4 countries have set up to support the Balkan countries.
Foreign ministers of Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia, which is currently presiding over the EU, will be present as guests. Oliver Várhelyi, commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, will also attend the meeting.
The decision to open EU accession talks with Albania and Northern Macedonia was expected at the October EU summit last year, but mainly France opposed the idea at the time.
Cooperation with the Western Balkans is a traditional part of the V4 political agenda. Summits of the Visegrad Group with the Balkan countries take place every year at the level of prime ministers and foreign ministers.
The last summit of prime ministers was held in September in Prague but without the then prime minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj.
Haradinaj withdrew his participation in response to statements by Czech President Miloš Zeman, who called on Czechia to withdraw its recognition of Kosovo. Zeman later submitted his proposal to other Czech constitutional officials, but he did not receive their support.