Western Balkans Expansions Splits The EU
The Balkans is a region in South East of Europe. The western Balkan is made up of Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania. Due to the Yugoslav wars that took place if the 1990’s, this region is known to the world as that which is volatile, corrupt and a war stricken area.
The wars were due to ethnic and religious fault lines amongst the surrounding countries of the Balkans.
In February of 2018, the European Union met to announce the inclusion of western Balkans in 2025. They discussed the pending application of western Balkan nations who want to be a part of the EU. This meeting was controversial because the members had different views on whether these countries should be included in the bloc or not.
Peter Szijarto, Hungarian foreign minister was not happy with the announcement. He was very disappointed because he expected that at least two of the Balkan nations would be incorporated by the year 2022.
It was stated that having them welcomed to the EU would relieve the tension amongst the countries and in turn promote peace. Ministers also stated that other countries had plans to move into these countries and take advantage of the situation. China, Russia and turkey all had strategies on the Balkans and if the EU was slow, the would miss the opportunity to expand their reach to the Balkans
Despite the latter being good points, reasons for not including them were higher. For one, the war in the area pit the countries against each other.
It was relatively recent and they still haven’t recovered from it.
For instance, Serbia rejected the independence of Kosovo from their country.
This has caused a lot of instability in both countries. Greece and Macedonia are also in clashes over Macedonia’s name.
The level of corruption in this area is at an all-time high. Criminal gangs run the streets. Provision of guns, drugs and human trafficking are rampant due to these gangs.
The Ministers in the EU stated that the rule of law and the peace of the neighboring countries should be achieved first before considering them to join the bloc.
The government also has control of the media thus the freedom of the press is limited. Also, the constitutional legality of these countries is very questionable, in that the law does not apply to everyone.
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More Time To Heal
Some said that these strategies were all achievable, just not in the time allocated. 2025 was too short of time. They needed to be given more time to sort out their differences before being allowed into the EU. For instance, the EU faced a lot of backlash after making Croatia a member back in 2014. This was due to the fact that Croatia and Slovenia had not set their maritime borders which proved difficult. It took these two countries more than 10 years to sit down and talk about their borders. Members insisted that the Balkan countries must meet the criteria for joining the bloc, without cutting corners.
The European Union is not only concerned with the economic potential of the area, they also want to see a politically stable region. This is only possible if the leaders of these nations join forces to ensure that there is peace among their countries as well as democracy. If they were to clean out the streets and implement stern laws that would deter people from crime, then the region would make for a great place to live in.