Academic: EU missed the opportunity to integrate the region

NEWS 27.08.2018 11:16
Source: N1

The agreement between Serbia and Kosovo concerning the demarcation could be harmful to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnian academic Esad Durakovic told N1.

Austria hosted a two-day forum on the future of the EU and the continuation of the enlargement process. The focus was on the EU’s enlargement to the Western Balkans countries, however, the meeting was not attended by Bosnian representatives.

The meeting also focused on the new idea of the correction of the border between Serbia and Kosovo. Durakovic told N1 that he is afraid of the Belgrade-Pristina agreement which would include the “drawing of new borders.” He concluded that such a precedent could be especially harmful to Bosnia.

It surprised me that the EU, as an institution, agreed to a border change, under the condition that both sides agree on the border. The US also agreed to this. There is, however, a very slim chance that Belgrade and Pristina reach an agreement,” Durakovic stressed. “To be honest, that made me scared for the future of Bosnia, because this was the first time that border change was allowed, which in turn opens the possibility for similar precedents in some other places. According to the Western school of thought, if such a precedent is allowed in Kosovo, one could simply ask why wouldn’t the same be allowed in Bosnia.”

He said he believes the EU has “missed the opportunity” to integrate the Western Balkans countries into its borders and stabilise the region before the Russian influence took hold of the region. It was late because the union was led by people without a clear vision, apart from only a handful of exceptions.

“I wouldn’t want to be a pessimist, but I have an obligation to be a realist when I say that the EU is in trouble. The member states are not united and they’re setting barbed wire between themselves. The idea of the EU is under attack from multiple sides. EU’s existence is threatened,” Durakovic noted.

He said he believes it is because the EU is led by people who don’t have a political vision, apart from the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. According to him, the EU has missed its best chance to integrate the Western Balkans into the EU or NATO before the Russian influence gained strength.

Today, the EU is setting impossible tasks before us just so they could integrate us into the union,” Durakovic concluded.