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Balkans could be EU's 'next economic engine' - Orbán

EU

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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said the Balkans could be the European Union's "next economic engine", addressing a meeting of house speakers from the Visegrád Group and Southeast Europe in Budapest.

Orbán said the Balkans are the EU's "next great opportunity", adding that Western Europeans cannot maintain their current living standards without the integration of the Balkans.

"If the Balkan nations get a chance, then, just like the Visegrád countries [of Hungary, Czechia, Poland and Slovakia], they'll pick up the tempo in several years, strengthen their economies, and that big economic growth from the Balkans will arrive in the European Union," he said.

"Accession for the Balkan states is of greater value for the EU than it is for the Balkan nations themselves, not only in terms of security, but from the point of view of the economic interests of Western Europeans, too," he added.

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