The need for a “Big Bang” of the EU with the Balkan

The need for a “Big Bang” of the EU with the Balkan

By Muhamer Pajaziti

The Berlin Summit, called by the iron lady, chancellor Angela Merkel, revealed a new approach of the European Union toward the process of enlargement and intensification of relations with Western Balkan countries.

After more than two decades, the European leadership has for the first time a clear and powerful vision for the integration of the countries of the region in the European family, bearing a political economic and strategic interest for Europe.

It was not by accident that the Berlin Summit aimed at encouraging regional economic cooperation and the renewal of the engagement of the EU for Western Balkan, which after such a long period of transition, still faces numerous problems, both internal and external ones.

Today, Western Balkan faces many social time bombs, economic ones, cross ethnic, religious extremism, which could ruin its perspective for accession in European Atlantic structures.

Meanwhile, it’s clear for the EU that this is the last chance to cleanse the region and carefully handle the enlargement process, by advancing peace, stability, prosperity, democracy, human rights and laws.

Such interest emanates from the fact that the European Union believes that the Balkan could benefit by having neighbors with a sustainable democracy and a prosperous market and economy.

For this, we cannot deny the contribution of the Albanian prime minister, Edi Rama, who during his visits in London, Berlin and Paris, alarmed the European leadership that our region needs small parts of railways, small parts of highways, small parts of energy interconnection lines and other investments to become developed regions and that these cannot be achieved without the structural funds of the European Union.

In the absence of funds, budget and human resources, this region may head toward an abyss and may be lost in its path toward Brussels and other European centers.

In this situation, it will be very easy for this region to become part of the Turkish or Russian agenda, with its own will or through aggression.

Europe is aware of these attempts and it has learnt from the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

I have the impression that the invasion of several regions of Ukraine and Russia will become the European Union more powerful than ever. This will mark the collapse for the ideas of Euro skeptics who have long planned the dissolution of the European Union.

Let us imagine if 10 years ago, we didn’t have the Bing Bang associated with the accession of 10 members of the former Soviet bloc and in 2007, the accession of Romania and Bulgaria.

The abovementioned states, without protection and collective security, could easily be lured in by Russia, suffering the same destiny of Crimea and other regions of Ukraine and this way, a world conflict could erupt between west and east.

The accession of the states mentioned above was made through political decisions of the European Union and based on the European principles and standards.

This was a courageous strategy of the European Union and the same thing must also happen with the Balkan countries, but this time, with more care by increasing funds and investments in this region, which has historically been part of Europe.

*The author is an analyst and lecturer in the ISPE College in Prisitna

** The opinion of the author doesn’t necessarily represent IBNA’s editorial line