European Union should not give up expansion

NSBy LANKED Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, leader of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, welcomed the opening of the Subiraji Bridge connecting the two countries. It was part of her tour of the West Balkan region. EU Defines the Balkan nations that have not yet joined the club and have been waiting at the front door since they were promised to become final members in 2003. EU And that Balkan neighbor was cast as inevitable. “All West Balkans belong to the European Union,” said Mrs. Von de Araien. “It’s our common interest, but I believe it’s our destiny.”

A week later, gentle words clashed with reality. Summit meeting held in Slovenia on October 6th out of 27 people EU Leaders from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and their six counterparts, new countries expected to join EU I was always absent immediately.Instead, the Western Balkans emerged with a pledge to reduce roaming charges when citizens visit. EU.. An attempt by Slovenia to guarantee their membership by the end of the decade was dismissed as an exorbitant promotional stunt. The construction of the literal bridge did not involve a figurative kind.

Expansion of EU Frankly, I’m dead. In the western Balkans, the government is hurt. North Macedonia may have faithfully jumped over all the hoops needed to initiate accession negotiations, including renaming to resolve a dispute with Greece. Still, a mysterious line about the origin of Macedonian led to Bulgaria refusing to start negotiations. Albania, whose application is linked to North Macedonia, is also stuck in a futile attempt to thwart such political gamemanship.The prime minister compared the relationship with EU For a failed marriage. Usually there is at least a wedding first. NS EU I want to be a global force, but I’m at risk of losing control of my backyard.

Realistic outlook for participation EU The main tool for blocks to deal with neighbors. But at this point, all sides know it’s a fantasy.Countries like France are very skeptical and prefer deeper ones EU To a wider one. Diplomats from other cautious countries, such as Denmark and the Netherlands, argue that the government is okay with the idea of ​​expansion as long as strict standards are met. However, domestic politicians do not always have such subtle nuances.No new country is likely to join EU, Even while club leaders are saying something else.

This is a problem. When the incentive for good behavior disappears, so does the incentive for bad behavior. We know that tantrums in the western Balkans are now commonplace and rarely lost. Why bother to take on vested interests or reform the judicial system for no benefit? People who have little to lose have little fear. Therefore, the line around the license plates between Serbia and Kosovo led to the deployment of special forces at the border. In the western Balkans, terrible stupidity happens more and more often.

Skeptics claim that the club cannot digest new members.Former poster-children EU Expansion in Poland and elsewhere has become a problem child. NS EU Without Poland or Hungary, you have less time to worry about the embarrassment of judges and the dangerous use of funds within your club. It’s easy to find a diplomat who thinks the expansion is wrong. But this counterfact is EU With an even more troublesome the case of EUMembers of the eastern part of the club remained outside the club, they may have followed the orbits of other countries EU Bubbles such as Ukraine. Exclusions are not a happy solution.

Perspective is created from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. American diplomats said it would be much easier to live if the West Balkans were firmly inside European tents rather than outside European tents, as other countries provide shelter. Reminds us of the more skeptical European counterparts. Montenegro is already in trouble with a $ 1 billion loan from China. Serbia has become a nifty diplomat who accepts vaccines from anywhere and distributes them to their neighbors. French President Emmanuel Macron sees Bosnia as a font of Islamist instability.In short, it’s not a region EU I can afford to lose.

Instead, there is dangerous self-satisfaction lurking EU government. NS EU I issued a vaccine. It accounts for almost 70% of the region’s trade. We invest about 3 billion euros ($ 3.5 billion) annually, which is a fair amount for a poor region of 20 million people. Whatever Russia and China can offer EU You can do more than match and execute the logic. The threat of geopolitical switches is EU Officials as diplomatic bravery by their Balkan companions.

Size is important

Therefore, attention drifts elsewhere.Leaders want to focus on the other side of the world rather than the other side of the world EUChaotic courtyard. On the eve of the Slovenia Summit, leaders discussed the club’s strategy in the Pacific. This is a much more sexy topic for those who dream of the power of Europe. The idea of ​​spending hours discussing Kosovo license plates and Macedonian etymology puts the eyes of European leaders behind their heads. Pacific leaders see history being made. On the Balkans, they see history repeating — to the point of being boring.

Still, the more pressing test is the West Balkan EUForeign policy capability, not a seemingly large and global topic. A coherent and common policy on North Macedonia, Albania, and their neighbors EU.. At the moment, EUChina’s policy designates the country as a partner, competitor, and rival. Ultimately, you need to decide and choose what will be the collective benefit. Therefore, clubs are advised to start with what should be an easier the case of EU If you want to be global power, you must first be local power. The resurrected expansion policy is the starting point. ■■

This article was published in the European section of the printed version under the heading “The bigger the better”.

European Union should not give up expansion

Source link European Union should not give up expansion

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