The European Union is not ready for further enlargements and cannot guarantee that the Western Balkans will be part of it at some point.
EPA-EFE Andrej Cukic
This is the latest news from Brussels, which appeared in Western media two days ago and has only fueled suspicions that the European path is on a long stick, recalls Vecernje Novosti.
The newspaper states that Serbia is criticized for its good cooperation with Russia and China, that we were among the first to receive Chinese vaccines against COVID, and that the events in Jarinje are mentioned, where the Serbs are protesting for ten days because of the attempts of the Albanians to endanger the freedom of movement of our compatriots.
EU countries did not want to reveal their point of view individually, which is why they are afraid of enlargement, but it is assumed that rich countries like Denmark, France and the Netherlands fear an enlargement. reappearance of the urgent accession of Romania and Bulgaria in 2007 and mismanagement of the migration of workers from Eastern Europe to Britain, which was the main reason the islanders turned against EU and have opted for Brexit.
On this occasion, European Commission spokesperson Ana Pisonero Hernandez issued a protocol statement on Wednesday that “the EC is firmly committed to improving the accession process of the countries of the Western Balkans, including Albania and Macedonia from North”.
Over the past year and this year, Serbia has not received consent from Brussels to open new chapters or clusters, and we are unlikely to get the green light even in December, when it does. there will be a new gathering of European leaders. According to President Aleksandar Vui, we will be blocked by Croatia, which has already happened, but also by another country. Judging from previous experiences, it could be the Netherlands or Belgium. Although small countries always push to vote against, it is a public secret that there is always a bigger European power behind them, like Germany or France.
The president’s suspicions that the Croats are going to block us were also confirmed by his Croatian colleague Zoran Milanovic, who said that with the current situation in Kosovo and Metohija, “with such a guard, Belgrade and Pristina will find it difficult to progress towards the European Union. “
Serbia has currently opened 18 of the 35 chapters and closed two. In the meantime, we have agreed on a different methodology, to divide the related chapters into six groups that unite topics – rule of law, markets, economy, green agenda, agriculture and resources and external relations, so that groups are open and closed.
According to Suzana Grubjesic of the Center for Foreign Policy, there is always a risk that someone will block us, but she hopes that will not happen: “We saw on the example of North Macedonia, which is blocked by Bulgaria, that it is counterproductive and that the popularity of European integration is declining, and the impression is created that this process lasts indefinitely. It should not become a practice. I hope we will open clusters, ”she said.
On the other hand, Serbian Assembly President Ivica Dai recently asked the EU for clearer messages on enlargement and membership. “We are tired of promises to join the EU. All these years and even decades we have heard promises of EU membership, and the question is which generation will experience them. Does it refer to this decade or to the next decade, to this century? We want to be told – we don’t want to enlarge the EU anymore and that is a reality, ”said Dai.
In addition to the history of the enlargement ban, there was also information that the reintroduction of visas for our citizens could be imposed as a subject. The reason is believed to be illegal residences and unfounded asylum claims from some countries in the Western Balkans, as well as Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine.
Serbia and Albania are among the 10 most problematic countries when it comes to visa waiver compliance, according to an internal EU document, which is why Germany believes the European Commission should reiterate that launching a mechanism to suspend the visa waiver regime is a realistic option.