Tim Judah: Has France's Macron spent too much time with Croatian President?

NEWS 08.11.2019 16:39
Source: N1

Tim Judah, The Economist's political analyst told N1 on Friday that he was surprised that the statement of “Bosnia being a ticking time-bomb” came from the French President Emmanuel Macron and not the Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic.

“If these statements have come from the President of Croatia, I wouldn't have been surprised, since these are type of things she has been saying in the past, and it makes me wonder whether President Macron has been spending too much time with the President of Croatia,” Judah said, adding that these remarks are inexplicable because they are wrong.

“There's a much greater problem in France of returning jihadists, where there had been terrorist attacks, than there's been in Bosnia. If the President of France said ‘Bosnia's a problem because it is a dysfunctional state and we need to do more to make Bosnia a functional state’ then he would have been quite right to do so,” the analyst noted.

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Framing it in terms of returning jihadists which is not a particular problem for Bosnia – “certainly no more (than) for many other western countries or many other European countries,” makes the whole thing very odd, he added.

Speaking about the part of the interview concerning the EU enlargement process, Judah noted the French President did say the problem was more on the side of the European Union, that it needs to reform, it needs to be more of a political project than simply a market.

“He says it's dysfunctional at 28, soon to be 27 member states, but he said if it's going to be 32 it's going to be even more dysfunctional,” Judah told N1. “But he says he's not against enlargement, per se. He is demanding more, especially, from Albania and he actually praises Northern Macedonia in the interview.”

However, the British journalist concluded that his remarks were not very positive for the issue of EU enlargement.