"The recent tensions are worrying... Today I want to introduce a new initiative... This is a new growth plan for the Western Balkans. We must bring closer the integration of these countries into the European Union, "RIA Novosti quoted her as saying.

According to von der Leyen, the European Union intends to develop the integration progress that has been achieved in recent months.

She explained that the plan implies greater involvement of the Balkan countries in the single market of the EU, deepening economic integration and increasing the funds allocated by the union before accession.

Earlier it was reported that the Directorate-General of the European Commission Eurostat plans to "prepare" the official statistical accounting bodies of the states of the Balkan Peninsula and Turkey for future membership in the European Union. The document was reviewed by RT.

The European Commission allocated €5 million to a strategic communications program in the Western Balkans and Turkey to raise awareness of residents "about the importance of EU support in the region."