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Podcast: This is why the hard-to-court EU wants to keep the Western Balkans close to it

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This is why the hard-to-court EU wants to keep the Western Balkans close

The EU Summit in Slovenia focuses on the Western Balkans and brings together, in addition to the heads of state and government of the EU member states, the six EU partner states in the Western Balkans: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and the North. Macedonia and Kosovo.

What is on the agenda?

– Want to meet and discuss. Many countries are running for EU membership, but negotiations are not going well. But it is good to maintain contacts. The European Union wants to invest in the Western Balkans to keep countries close and to establish good relations in the region.

What are the prospects for the six partner countries with regard to the membership process in particular?

The short answer is that it doesn’t look good. Several countries have been negotiating for a few years, such as Montenegro and Serbia. Not much happens there. There are countries in the European Union that are quite negative towards the new members, because they went too fast the last time, when new countries came from Eastern and Central Europe. At the same time, there are concerns that if these countries are not allowed to join the European Union, they may approach China, Russia or Turkey. So there are geopolitical issues to consider. On the other hand, there are EU countries, especially Eastern Europe, which are positive about the new members. They want to increase their trade and they want this part of Europe to have more attractiveness within the European Union.

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In this section you will also discover why China and Slovenia have come together, about the border conflict between Kosovo and Serbia and EU investments in the Western Balkans.

Listen to the episode:


This is why the hard-to-court EU wants to keep the Western Balkans close

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Read more:

Pia Grebenberg: Nice words for EU countries are not enough for Albania and North Macedonia

Marianne Bj√∂rklund: China is ready when the EU’s Balkan hopes fade

NATO calls on Serbia and Kosovo to reduce tension on the border

Albania and North Macedonia can start negotiating EU membership