Europe

EU's foreign policy chief begins tour of Western Balkans

The European Union's foreign policy chief says stability in the volatile Western Balkans remains fragile despite recent democratic reforms designed to get the countries ready to join the EU.

Federica Mogherini said in an op-ed ahead of her tour of the Western Balkans that a complex international environment has put additional pressure on a region still recovering from the wars of the 1990s.

Mogherini starts her Balkan visit on Wednesday in small Montenegro, regional front-runner in EU integration. Mogherini also visits Bosnia, Macedonia, Serbia, Albania and Kosovo.

Mogherini warns that "at times, we had the impression that peace itself could not be taken for granted" and adds that "we all share an interest in making peace in the Western Balkans irreversible, as well as social, economic and democratic progress."