EU revisits Balkans to win friends, seek more influence


              FILE - European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, right, speaks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, left, prior to a meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels, on April 26, 2021. The European Union is in the midst of yet another goodwill trip through the neighboring Western Balkans in its drive to drum up support for the bloc and to make sure that the historical tinderbox is not about to pick the side of hostile Russia or strategic rival China in the geopolitical fight. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)
            
              FILE - European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, right, speaks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic at the end of a media conference at the EEAS building in Brussels, on April 26, 2021. The European Union is in the midst of yet another goodwill trip through the neighboring Western Balkans in its drive to drum up support for the bloc and to make sure that the historical tinderbox is not about to pick the side of hostile Russia or strategic rival China in the geopolitical fight. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)
            
              FILE - European Council President Charles Michel, right front, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, front left, walk with leaders of the Western Balkans prior to a group photo in Brussels on Feb. 16, 2020. The European Union is in the midst of yet another goodwill trip through the neighboring Western Balkans in its drive to drum up support for the bloc and to make sure that the historical tinderbox is not about to pick the side of hostile Russia or strategic rival China in the geopolitical fight. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)
            
              FILE - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, left, speaks with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, on June 23, 2022. The European Union is in the midst of yet another goodwill trip through the neighboring Western Balkans in its drive to drum up support for the bloc and to make sure that the historical tinderbox is not about to pick the side of hostile Russia or strategic rival China in the geopolitical fight. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, File)
            
              FILE - Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, left, welcomes the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen at Tirana International Airport, before their meeting in Tirana, Albania, on Oct. 27, 2022. Ursula von der Leyen is on a trip this week to Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro this week as the EU-Western Balkans Summit will be held in the Albanian capital on Dec. 6. (AP Photo/Franc Zhurda, File)
            
              FILE - President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a news conference with the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama in Tirana, Albania, on Sept. 28, 2021. The European Union is in the midst of yet another goodwill trip through the neighboring Western Balkans in its drive to drum up support for the bloc and to make sure that the historical tinderbox is not about to pick the side of hostile Russia or strategic rival China in the geopolitical fight. (AP Photo/Franc Zhurda, File)
            
              FILE - From left, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, European Council President Charles Michel, North Macedonia's Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and French President Emmanuel Macron walk to a group photo during an EU summit in Brussels, on June 23, 2022. The European Union is in the midst of yet another goodwill trip through the neighboring Western Balkans in its drive to drum up support for the bloc and to make sure that the historical tinderbox is not about to pick the side of hostile Russia or strategic rival China in the geopolitical fight. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys, File)
EU revisits Balkans to win friends, seek more influence