COMMENT 22 Mar 17

Europe is not Going to Solve Balkan Dramas

The idea that the EU is going to speed up the accession process in the Balkans to prevent states from collapsing or fighting each other is a complete fantasy.

Marcus Tanner
BIRN
London
The European Commission building in Brussels. Photo: Jai79

As the Balkans relapses into its old familiar condition of petty states wrangling and threatening each other, the old familiar cry is also going up: Europe is to blame!

Why? Because, according to the purveyors of this thesis, the lack of a European “perspective” - i.e. the prospect of rapid EU membership - has undermined modern-minded, cooperative democrats and has encouraged nationalist firebrands and secessionists all over the region.

In other words, if Europe would just hurry up and fast-track Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, etc., into the EU, and never mind the small print, the disagreeable, dangerous demagogues would all fall silent and the region would resume the more-or-less happy course it seemed to be taking a few years ago.

There may be some substance to this claim - bribes do often work - but it is not going to happen and it is time those marketing this fantasy accepted that it is just that – a fantasy.

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