The Economist:

Nepovjerljivi Balkanci gaje nove nade za ulazak u EU

Najveća promjena, kaže Remzi Lani, jedan albanski analitičar, jeste da sada lideri Zapadnog Balkana primaju signal iz Berlina a ne iz Brisela. “Ovo je njemački trenutak”, kaže on. Pomjeranje je došlo na vidjelo na regionalnom samitu u Beču, 27.avgusta. Šefovi vlada sastali su se kao dio onog što je postalo poznato kao ‘Berlinski proces’, što je usmjerila njemačka kancelarka Angela Merkel, koja je u julu posjetila Albaniju, Bosnu i Srbiju.

21.10.2015.

The Economist:

Balkan laggards harbour new hopes of entering the EU

The single biggest change, says RemziLani, an Albanian analyst, is that western Balkan leaders now take their cue from Berlin, not Brussels. “It is the German moment,” he says. The shift was on display at a regional summit in Vienna on August 27th. Heads of government met as part of what has become known as the “Berlin process”, spearheaded by Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, who visited Albania, Bosnia and Serbia in July.

21.10.2015.

Još od kraja ratova na Balkanu 1999, najvažnije pitanje u regionu bilo je kad i kako se priključiti Evropskoj uniji. Slovenija je to uspjela 2004, a Hrvatska 2013. Za ostale, međutim, cilj je i dalje veoma dalek. Činilo se da su izgledi Albanije, Bosne, Kosova, Makedonije, Crne Gore i Srbije – svi na različom stepenu integracije – neko vrijeme u zastoju.

Posljednjih mjeseci ukazuje se napredak, uglavnom neprimijećen u ostatku krizom pogođene Evrope. Kosovo i Srbija su 25.avgusta potpisali nekoliko sporazuma uz podršku EU, uključujući i onaj koji daje više prava općinama sa većinom kosovskih Srba. EU je takođe posredovala u sporazumu koji vodi novim izborima u Makedoniji, gdje je politička kriza dostigla tačku ključanja. Napuštena je neizvodljiva politika EU koja blokira napredovanje Bosne.

Najveća promjena, kaže Remzi Lani, jedan albanski analitičar, jeste da sada lideri Zapadnog Balkana primaju signal iz Berlina a ne iz Brisela. “Ovo je njemački trenutak”, kaže on. Pomjeranje je došlo na vidjelo na regionalnom samitu u Beču, 27.avgusta. Šefovi vlada sastali su se kao dio onog što je postalo poznato kao ‘Berlinski proces’, što je usmjerila njemačka kancelarka Angela Merkel, koja je u julu posjetila Albaniju, Bosnu i Srbiju.

Ovaj put njemački diplomati igraju čak veću ulogu. Evropska komisija sada ništa ne radi na Balkanu, kaže jedan visoki diplomata, “bez zelenog svjetla iz Njemačke.” Drugi veliki igrač se takođe diskretno vratio u igru. Amerika, koja je poslije 1999. postepeno nestajala s Balkana sada je ponovo daleko aktivnija, često pomažući EU sa blagovremenim diplomatskim migovima. Američki zvaničnici igrali su vodeću ulogu u pritisku na Kosovo da 3.avgusta donese zakon o uspostavi suda za ratne zločine uz podršku EU. Takođe su pomogli da se osigura dogovor o okončanju makedonske krize u julu.

Nekoliko je razloga zašto Balkan privlači više pažnje u mnogim zapadnim metropolama. Korupcija, nacionalizam i ekstremizam su u porastu. Neki muslimani odlaze u Siriju da se bore za Islamsku državu. U nekim zemljama raste simpatija za Rusiju. Planovi Srbije da učestvuje u ruskim vojnim vježbama zaradili su oštre javne ukore na zapadu. Bekim Collaku, kosovski ministar za EU integraciju, kaže: “Sa strateške tačke gledišta EU treba da ubrza proces.” Proširenje može da bude nepopularno u mnogim zemljama članicama, ali raste cijena odlaganja.

Ever since the end of the Balkan wars in 1999, the most important question in the region has been when and how to join the European Union. Slovenia made it in 2004 and Croatia followed in 2013. For the rest, however, the goal is still far off. The prospects of Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia—all at different stages of EU integration—have appeared stuck for some time.

But recent months brought progress, mostly unnoticed in the rest of crisis-ridden Europe. On August 25th Kosovo and Serbia signed several EU-aided agreements, including one giving Kosovo’s Serb-dominated municipalities more rights. The EU also mediated an agreement leading to new elections in Macedonia, where a political crisis had come to boiling point. An unworkable EU policy blocking Bosnia’s advancement was abandoned.

The single biggest change, says RemziLani, an Albanian analyst, is that western Balkan leaders now take their cue from Berlin, not Brussels. “It is the German moment,” he says. The shift was on display at a regional summit in Vienna on August 27th. Heads of government met as part of what has become known as the “Berlin process”, spearheaded by Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, who visited Albania, Bosnia and Serbia in July.

This time round German diplomats are playing an even bigger role. The European Commission does nothing in the Balkans now, says one senior diplomat, “without a green light from Germany”. Another big player has also discreetly returned to the game. America, which after 1999 gradually disappeared from the Balkans, is now far more active again, often helping the EU with timely diplomatic shoves. American officials played a leading role in pressing Kosovo to pass a law on August 3rd to create an EU-backed war-crimes court.

They also helped to secure a deal to end the Macedonian crisis in July.

There are several reasons why the Balkans are attracting more attention in Western capitals. Corruption, nationalism and extremism are all on the rise. Some Muslims are going to Syria to fight for the Islamic State. Sympathy for Russia is rising in some countries.

Serbia’s plans to take part in Russian military exercises earned it sharp public rebukes from farther west. BekimCollaku, Kosovo’s minister for EU integration, says: “From a strategic point of view the EU needs to accelerate the process.” Enlargement may be unpopular in many member states, but the cost of delay is rising.

The Economist

The Economist

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