BELGRADE – The EU’s golden age of expansion is over, and Serbia, one of “at least 10 countries keen to join,” won’t be able to do that before 2027. This is according to the Politico website.

Serbia is thus given “80 percent chance of joining” with the country’s “pros” including the fact it is the biggest of the Western Balkan countries hoping to join the EU, as well as that it “could be a pro-EU stabilizing force in the region and good neighbor if kept within the EU’s orbit,” while the Commission has “praised Serbia for aligning its legislation with the EU across the board.”

As for the cons, they include “no progress over the past year in fighting corruption,” while Serbia “may also continue refusing to recognize Kosovo unless offered EU membership, which may be tactically clever but breaches the spirit of EU norms.”

The website also sees Albania as capable of becoming “a surprise front-runner in the membership race” – it is already a NATO member and a country “mostly free” from the complications of the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.

Politico’s website also says that “All other prospective EU members in the Western Balkans suffer fundamental complications. For Macedonia, it’s as simple as Greece refusing to even recognize its name. Allowing Montenegro and Kosovo to join without Serbia alongside them could create a security risk for both countries. Bosnia and Herzegovina is in the worst position of all and may hold these countries back if the EU insists they join in bloc formation.”