The Macedonian Tendency: Shaky Balkans need 'new strategy,' panel says

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Shaky Balkans need 'new strategy,' panel says

Dear Judy Dempsey,
International Herald Tribune

Next time some lame "commission" discusses the Balkans can you ask this question:

"If any former communsit country adopts the Greek position on minority rights, will they be accepted in the EU and Nato." (Hint ... Greece denies it has any minorties)

Note: Kiro Gligorov seems to be part of this "International Commission of the Balkans

Shaky Balkans need 'new strategy,' panel says

Shaky Balkans need 'new strategy,' panel says
By Judy Dempsey International Herald Tribune

BERLIN A high-powered International Commission on the Balkans has issued a scathing critique of EU and UN policies in the Balkans, accusing both organizations of hindering democratic growth and warning that bleak economic and political conditions may lead to renewed instability.

"The red lights could soon start blinking if we don't take stock of the reality on the ground," said Alex Rondos, former Greek ambassador at large and member of the commission. "The region is not as stable as the EU makes out."

The commission asserts that democracy has been stifled in Bosnia "by the coercive authority" of Paddy Ashdown, the EU's high representative.

The international representatives, the commission says, "dabble in social engineering but are not held accountable when their policies go wrong. If Europe's neocolonial rule becomes further entrenched, it will encourage economic discontent and European electorates would see it as an immense and unnecessary financial and moral burden."

The commission challenged the European Union to formally offer Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia, Macedonia and the province of Kosovo a timetable for admission to the Union, warning that failure to do so could lurch the Balkans into another period of instability and leave the EU mired in the region.

The recommendations by the independent commission, made public in Europe's main capitals over the past few days, propose that in late 2006 the EU should sponsor a summit meeting "that aims to present all Balkan countries with their accession road maps."

Once the countries have met the EU's criteria on respect for human and ethnic rights, implementation of the rule of law and the introduction of a functioning market economy, the commission says these countries could start accession negotiations around 2009-2010 and be ready to join by 2014-2015.

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