Comment 17 Mar 17

Europe is Ignoring Growing Balkan Chaos

EU leaders may repeat that the doors ‘remain open’ to Balkan countries - but in reality the doors look closed for the foreseeable future, which means current tensions there are likely to escalate.

Srecko Latal
BIRN
Sarajevo
Photo: Beta

A summit of six Balkan leaders in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo on Thursday heard talk of the continued readiness of Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia to pursue reforms to join the EU, as well as of the EU’s willingness to eventually let them in.

Reality on the ground looks the opposite, however, as a steady weakening in EU and US influence in the Balkans contributes to the reopening of a “Pandora’s Box” of troubles in the region.

The summit, which passed off in a collegial atmosphere, was speedily dubbed “historic” by some officials and the media.

Yet, it offered no concrete answers to the dangerous escalation of security, ethnic, political, economic and social tensions in the Balkans.

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