Due to dealing with its own defects, the EU is failing to see the “dangerous developments in the southeast, that could have possible fatal consequences.”
This is according to the Vienna-based daily Presse, that cites “warnings” about the EU “losing the Western Balkans” that have been “piling up in various publications.”
Media interests in the region is increasing, reporters are being sent there and reports published, says Presse.
The magazine Europaische Rundschau – “which never let the Balkans out if its sight” – is cited as an example. In its latest edition, it published “Vedran Jihic’s warning that the Balkans is a ‘time bomb that is ticking’,” said the daily.
“Powerful people are working to build their power, nationalism is again, in many places, as a technique to rule,” said Jihic, a Vienna-based expert on the Balkans.
The newspaper also writes that Germany’s Spiegel magazine referred to Western Balkan states as “the orphans of the continent” and warned that there is “a palpable distancing from the European project.”
“The fact that the EU as a symbol of security and well-being is losing its influence is as understandable as it is dangerous. Peace is endangered by the masked aspirations of Albanians for a common state, and by the desire for having great power of the Serbian nationalists,” said the German magazine.
Another one – New Eastern Europe, published in Krakow, Poland – has devoted as many as 12 articles to the “Balkan carousel” in its summer edition – among them that penned by Sarajevo-based writer Miljenko Jergovic, who asks, “Is Europe losing the Balkans?”
This magazine also pays attention to the topic of the Balkans as a place for recruiting militant Islamists, recalling that one-quarter of all Islamic State’s foreign fighters coming from Europe “come from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia.”
And since Islamic State is “under pressure” in Iraq and Syria, “the fighters returning could act as a cigarette lighter on a powder keg” that is made up of “an explosive religious and ethnic blend” – said the article.