With having years of stop start type progress on this issue the EU is not firmly settled on it’s goal of bringing in the Western Balkan nations. Serbia and Montenegro are on the EU’s hit list as the next countries they want to join the European Union. This new goal is to be reached by 2025 at the latest. The European Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, who focuses on EU expansion commented on this claim by saying “Either we export stability as the European Union or we import instability, and we have seen how fragile the region is, how fragile it still is today,” this comes in light of the new push by the EU to secure Serbia and Montenegro.
With this in mind we cannot forget that the EU also have their eyes on The Former Republic of Macedonia. The EU could potentially be inviting The Former Republic of Macedonia to join NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization if all goes well. The only thing currently hindering this decision is The Former Republic of Macedonia’s age old dispute with Greece over its current name.
Commissioner Hahn also commented on the more current affairs by saying “Obviously faced with the dangers of the Western Balkans becoming a security blackhole with rising nationalisms, with a possibility of a confrontation between Moscow and Washington which is increasing tensions between nations and ethnic groups in the region and also China’s economic penetration to the wider region, the EU is approaching the prospect of a new enlargement wave with greater flexibility.” The recent killing of the Serbian leader Oliver Ivanovic weighed heavily on Commissioner Hahns mind. He claimed it’s a strong indicator of the ongoing instability the region is currently facing.
The new strategy which will be made public around the 6th of February is an addition to new EU efforts to give a new lease of life to the accession process aimed at six Western Balkan countries which are currently outside the bloc. The document regards 2019 as a crucial year for this movement. It really is make or break time for these regions and countries. According to the latest EU draft Balkan plan which was reported by Reuters, the new bloc’s strategy depends solely on Serbia and Kosovo calming down the region and normalizing their relations by the end of 2019 at the latest.
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