Comment 21 Mar 17

Fiddling in Sarajevo as Europe Unravels

The pointless summit in Sarajevo showed only that Brussels remains in the grip of a dangerous illusion that the Balkans can remain perpetually unstable but peaceful in Europe’s waiting room. 

Jasmin Mujanovic
BIRN
EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn. Photo: MIA

The recently concluded summit of the Western Balkan Prime Ministers in Sarajevo was a drab affair.

Despite leaders from the entire region gathering at the table, including EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn, the best any of them could muster was vague promissory notes about a future customs union.

This was not just a missed opportunity - it was reckless endangerment, packaged as boredom.

Even the usual grandstanding lacked bluster. Serbia’s Aleksander Vucic insisted Kosovo should not be referred to as a state, while the president of Bosnia’s Republika Srpska entity Milorad Dodik, alone and forgotten in East Sarajevo, convened a press conference to explain that, “actually, technically, you know, Bosnia and Herzegovina doesn’t even have a prime minister!”

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