Germany urged leaders of the Western Balkans to overcome internal conflicts in the interests of stability in the region and the shared goal of joining the European Union.
It came at a summit in Berlin that aims to further the ambitions of Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Albania to join the bloc.
"The citizens of the western Balkans can count on Germany and they can count on the Berlin process to continue supporting them," German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told the conference. "Only together can we work towards a more sovereign European Union. Only together can we protect European values and the rule of law. Only together will we overcome the huge challenges facing our continent and the world."
The countries are expected to sign agreements on easing regional travel arrangements and mutual recognition of academic qualifications.
However, deep divisions between some, particularly Serbia and Kosovo, need to be resolved before EU membership can happen.