Criticism of the European Union for failing to deliver on its promises to the Western Balkan countries and calls for the EU to be more acceptable in the region were heard Thursday in a plenary session of the European Parliament.
The most frequent evidence that the EU is not helping to meet its obligations is the lack of visa liberalization for Kosovo citizens and the start of membership negotiations with Albania and northern Macedonia.
These processes have not yet been finalized, although the European Commission has repeatedly confirmed that all three countries have met the criteria required by them. In this way, according to many speakers who participated in the discussions, the European Union is jeopardizing its credibility. in the region and is creating space for influences of other external factors.
The debate was also conducted to analyze the results of the EU-Western Balkans Summit, which took place in Brdo, Slovenia. marked the strengthening of EU and regional ties.
He said that this summit reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to the enlargement process. But there were MPs who called the promises and conclusions from the Brdo Summit only “empty words”, especially mentioning the refusal to have time references for the enlargement process and the hopes of the countries of the region for EU integration.
Viola von Cramon, Green MP from Germany, who is also the Rapporteur for Kosovo in the European Parliament, said that “The EU-Western Balkans Summit in Brdo was a parade of hypocrisy, empty words and assessments for autocrats, and above all claims that the EU will expand and the countries of the region are making reforms. ”She said the European Union should have a completely different policy in the Western Balkans.
According to her, “The EU is no longer the club that in 2003 promised the integration of the Western Balkan countries, nor the countries of the region have any more motivation” calling for more sincerity. She especially criticized the EU approach. he said, as he said, “autocrats like Vucic in Serbia and Djukanovic in Montenegro” demanding that the EU be honest even when criticizing violations of democratic norms. “The Western Balkans is not in the neighborhood but in the yard our. “If the EU cannot play its role there, then our dream of the EU becoming a geopolitical union will remain just a dream,” she said. MP von Cramon said concrete steps by the EU would were visa liberalization for Kosovo, the strengthening of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the start of membership negotiations with Albania and northern Macedonia.
Croatian MP Tonino Picula said the summit was important, but “we can not hide our disappointment with the results.” As the approval of the budget for IPA. But we need more political steps. We are seeing in the region the influence of external factors. We should not miss the opportunity to mention the shortcomings and the worsening of the situation in some countries. But when the conditions are met, we must fulfill our obligations. “More specifically, negotiations should start with Macedonia (Northern) and Albania, and we should liberalize visas with Kosovo immediately”, said Picula, speaking on behalf of the group of Socialists and Democrats.
Some lawmakers have called on northern Macedonia and Bulgaria to find solutions to their differences, as well as Kosovo and Serbia to reduce tensions. These are cited as examples of how sensitive the situation in the Western Balkans region is. / REL