Author: Dr. Vasilis Margaras
23 May 2010 - Issue : 886
Positive developments are underway also between
Europeans cannot afford to forget the Balkans. Trends of crime and corruption have the Balkans as their base, but spread their tentacles throughout
Nevertheless, no matter what the EU (or other external actors) may do, it is up to the Balkan states to take the lead. EU Accession provides a useful tool to promote a change of policy practices and social norms in the Western Balkans. Change, however, must occur in practice, not only on paper. The EU should make clear to candidate Member States that they cannot just simply ‘pick and choose’ what suits from within the EU package; they have to comply with the whole ‘EU acquis’. The political will to impose change will be for the own good of the Balkan people: it will be extremely difficult for Western European politicians to sell the ‘Western Balkan’ enlargement to their sceptical publics if no positive achievements are evident.