Verheugen: Without the Balkans, the unity of Europe is incomplete

Verheugen: Without the Balkans, the unity of Europe is incomplete

 Günter Verheugen, the former German EU Enlargement Commissioner, says Western Balkans' EU membership is actually an invitation to lose elections in the West. But he considers the EU incomplete without the Western Balkans.

The former EU Enlargement Commissioner Günter Verheugen sees no room for action for a swift accession of Western Balkan states to the European Union. "The time perspective is not very promising," the German Social Democrat told to SWR radio on Thursday.

"Today the situation is this in the European Union. When a prime minister wants to miss the election, it just suffices to say so often and clearly, I want to join the Balkan countries in the European Union," he said.

"It's an unpopular statement to put it bluntly."

Verheugen said she is surprised that concrete dates are already mentioned. "The idea was to become ... attractive the readiness for reform, for changes in these countries through the prospect of EU membership."

It was thought that these countries would solve more easily their neighborhood problems and cooperate more peacefully if they were part of the EU. "In the meantime, we have gathered many experiences and in one sentence we can say that both sides are disappointed and dissatisfied."

But without the Western Balkan states, however, the union of Europe in the EU is not complete, Verheugen said. The alternative of an interregional cooperation in the EU is not realistic: an interregional cooperation of Western Balkan states is rejected in the region as a kind of the renewal of Yugoslavia.
Verheugen: Without the Balkans, the unity of Europe is incomplete Verheugen: Without the Balkans, the unity of Europe is incomplete Thursday, May 17, 2018 Rating: 5
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