The Macedonian Tendency: EU Reconsiders Expansion

Friday, June 24, 2005

EU Reconsiders Expansion

Two articles from two pseudo human rights groups, IWPR and RFE, both discussing the possible delay of EU expansion caused by the rejection of the constitution. My prediction is that Macedonia will be stringed along for years all the while being subverted by the Greeks on the outside and the Albanians on the inside. The EU is pathetic. We need to call on Russia ... with love.

Institute for War and Peace Reporting:

"Macedonia is today the pivotal state in terms of EU integration. Until a few months ago, there was a consensus among EU policy makers that its membership application was going well.

The European Commission was expected to deliver a positive report in the autumn, followed by a decision at the EU council in December to give Macedonia candidate status. This could have led to the beginning of membership talks before the end of 2006 or in early 2007.

Now, however, some EU member states have second thoughts and seek to slow down this process. Objectively, this would be difficult to explain: after all, Macedonia has largely implemenbted the Ohrid Agreement and meets the Copenhagen political and human rights criteria (the hurdle for gaining candidate status) at least as much as Central European countries in 1997 or Turkey in 1999, when they became candidates.

Such a strategy looks risky, given the importance of internal stability and the investment the EU has already made in Macedonia, and given the risks that emerge as the United States and EU seek to settle Kosovo’s status. A serious setback would send a very negative signal to the region as a whole."


"At least one leader of a major EU member state indicated before the summit that he remains committed to enlargement, stressing that its benefits far outweigh its costs. During a joint news briefing with Macedonian Prime Minister Vlado Buckovski, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said in Berlin on 8 June that unspecified 'populists' are seeking to destroy the EU by attempting to prevent the western Balkan countries from joining that body.

Asked if the EU can afford to fund further enlargement in that region, Schroeder replied: 'Instability is much more expensive.' He added that 'you would be amazed if I told you how much the current situation in the Balkans with European soldiers costs.' He argued that 'Macedonia's example without any doubt...shows that the region's stability is linked to its European perspectives.' He also warned that eliminating these 'perspectives' would fuel instability in the region. At the same time, the chancellor refrained from naming concrete dates for the EU accession of the countries in the western Balkans.

The results of the Brussels summit indicated that Schroeder's pro-enlargement views are in the minority. Regional leaders were not slow in reacting to the unpleasant news but generally sought to put on a brave face. Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader said in Brussels on 16 June that members of the European People's Party, which is a coalition of conservative parties active in European affairs, have given 'full support' to Croatia's bid for EU membership. He added that negotiations could start now and last two to three years, during which time all outstanding problems between Zagreb and Brussels could be resolved. "

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