Western Balkans enlargement marked by disunity in EU

  • Dominika Jandová
  • 19.2.2018 15:06

On Thursday, February 15, EU foreign ministers gave voice to a number of disagreements and concerns over the Commission's roadmap for Western Balkans enlargement.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said that the 2025 deadline was too far away, and Serbia and Montenegro should be accepted by 2022. Austria and Bulgaria, which currently holds the EU presidency, have also expressed support for a faster integration. On the other hand, due to several border disputes between western Balkans, Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec characterised the 2025 goal as unrealistic, despite some recent progress registered in the Serb-Croatian, or Kosovo-Montenegro relations (agreement to for joint border commission). Furthermore, France and Germany remain reserved for the EC design, and German Minister Sigmar Gabriel reiterated that Serbia first must recognize Kosovo's independence. It is expected that EU officials will formally support the EC's strategy during a special summit in Sofia in May. Despite these disagreements, the EU is poised to speed up the enlargement process, mainly due to fears of growing Russian, Turkish and Chinese influence in the region.


About author: Dominika Jandová


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