RECONCILIATION - A PREREQUISITE FOR THE INTEGRATION OF WESTERN BALKANS IN THE EU STREAM OF VALUES
This article discusses the necessity to take into account the strategic importance of the Balkan region for the EU. The relations between the states in the region are entangled, with political, ethnic, religious animosities and security risks. The most important if not the only tool for the social and economic progress of these states and for improving the stability and security of the region and Europe as a whole is the step by step integration of all states of the region into the EU.
Unfortunately, the road of Western Balkans (WB6) countries towards European integration and values has proven to be more burdensome and lengthy than many had hoped a few years ago. On the 6th of February 2018, the European Commission (finally) presented a new strategy towards the WB6 in which it resumed among other things also the responsibility to develop six initiatives aimed at supporting the reforms in the WB6 countries (Albania, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia). The Annex to this instrument contains a timetable for the announced actions, including the supervision of their realization. Almost all actions are supposed to be realized until 2019 at the end of the mandate of the present Commission.
It is now of paramount importance that the new EU structure, which will be elected/appointed in 2019, develop new ideas and fresh operational policies towards WB6 in order to keep peace, stability and ensure the progress of the WB6 countries and the region as a whole. The author puts forward in the article some considerations that could be of use in further structuring and especially in implementing the new EU strategy towards WB6.
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