The European Union’s March decision to give Macedonia and Albania the green light to begin membership talks will be the political legacy of the Croatian presidency, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković told Brussels-based publication POLITICO.

He added that the EU might not have decided to open negotiations if it weren’t for Croatia’s presidency of the Council of the EU and expressed certainty that Macedonia and Albania will never forget this sign of friendship.

Ahead of Wednesday’s online EU-Western Balkans Summit, Plenković said that Croatia’s presidency had put the region back on EU’s agenda.

He underlined wishes that the so-called Zagreb Declaration, set to be adopted at the summit, would have sent a more clear message to the region.

“But I’m realistic, we made a very solid document given the circumstances. The fact that the meeting is happening is already a strong political signal,” he added.

He said that the Croatian presidency has achieved its objectives and stressed the importance of maintaining the focus with this high level political dialogue every two years.