EU opens door to Balkans with 2025 target for membership

The European Union acted on Tuesday to reinvigorate the membership ambitions of six Balkan states and reclaim the region as its own amid growing Russian and Chinese influence, setting 2025 as a goal for Serbia and Montenegro to join.

 

Trend.az reports, that seeking to breathe fresh life into the EU with Britain set to leave, the European Commission set out a strategy to bring Western Balkan nations into the fold if they achieve required reforms, marking a change after years of fading interest.

“The door is open...There is a clear path for the Western Balkans to finally join the European Union,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said as she presented the plan at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

“The future of the Union is not bound to be at 27,” she said, referring to the current membership level of the bloc, discounting Britain, which is due to leave in 2019.

However, both Mogherini and Johannes Hahn, the EU’s enlargement commissioner, stressed that 2025 was meant as an encouragement to Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia to join, but should not be seen as a deadline.

“We will not repeat the mistakes of the past,” Hahn said earlier in Brussels. He was alluding to what many believe was the rushed accession of Romania and Bulgaria in 2007 and the poorly managed migration of eastern European workers to Britain, which turned many Britons against the European project.

Hahn cited “enlargement fatigue” in some EU countries that still needed to be overcome, but also noted European companies were investing heavily in the Balkans.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had played down enlargement at the start of his five-year term in 2014, and that left Balkan citizens wondering if they would ever be admitted.

 

 

Masaim Abdullayev,
“khalq qazeti” 


© İstifadə edilərkən "Xalq qəzeti"nə istinad olunmalıdır.



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