The Western Balkans confer but the EU doesn't care
The tenth Brdo-Brijuni summit on the Western Balkans, also known as the Brdo-Brijuni Process, took place in Slovenia on Monday. Slovenia and Croatia launched the initiative for the event in 2013 in order to promote the European integration of the region through regional cooperation. But after the meeting Slovenian media conclude with resignation that the EU has little interest in the issue.
The enthusiasm has long since waned
“Jean-Claude Juncker once openly said that there would be no enlargement of the EU while he was leading the European Commission. Ursula von der Leyen doesn't even have to say that anymore. The financial and migration crises, the epidemic and Brexit have pushed the issue far into the background. Yet at the same time the epidemic and the migration crisis have exposed the EU's attitude towards the Western Balkans. The EU does not see this region as a (potential) integral part of itself. The phrase that the EU is tired of enlargement is hackneyed, but true. Neither among the public nor among the politicians is there any enthusiasm for enlargement that could compare to that in the 90s.”
A ticking time bomb right on the doorstep
The EU's disinterest could have fatal consequences, Delo warns:
“The war-torn, ethnically divided, politically unstable and economically weak countries on the EU's south-eastern threshold have always been a source of problems that could easily be exported to the EU. ... Year after year, the region becomes more susceptible to the influences of key powers that have clear interests here. At the same time, every day the Balkans become deafer to Brussels' empty promises of a European perspective.”