International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Civil society reps-EU should integrate WB given Russia's destabilising actions

June 21, 2022

Civil society representatives in the region will send a letter to Brussels, the United States and NATO on Tuesday in which they stress that EU expansion to the Western Balkans should be seen as a geopolitical and geostrategic inevitability given Russia's constant attempts to destabilise the region.

Among the signatories of the letter are former foreign ministers of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Vesna Pusic and Zlatko Lagumdzija, university professors Husnija Kamberovic, Nerzuk Curak and Ivo Komsic, and representatives of civil society organizations in the region, including Stefica Galic and Sonja Biserko.

In the letter, they state that a more effective EU policy is not possible as long as the countries of the EU try to maintain a balance between the principles of the values the EU is based on and the concept of unanimous decision-making. Such a relationship has disastrous consequences for the Western Balkans, they warned.

The signatories of the letter stressed that the future and functionality of Bosnia and Herzegovina should not depend on the policy of Belgrade, which they argued has been trying to “integrate” Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity for two decades at all levels – economic, cultural, educational and informational.

Biserko, who is the head of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, told N1 that integrating regional countries into the EU is important given the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

She said that “it is simply unfair” that North Macedonia and Albania are still not within the EU.

Biserko said that “Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was the greatest victim in the war, “should have been granted candidate status a long time ago.”

The EU must get much more engaged in the region in “many aspects”, she said, arguing that, currently, EU engagement comes down to observing the developments in these countries.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/civil-society-reps-eu-should-integrate-wb-given-russias-destabilising-actions/

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