Kosovo’s leader Hashim Thaci on Friday accused the European Commission (EC) of turning its back on Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo over not offering them an accession strategy.
Balkan media reported in September, citing EC President Jean-Claude Juncker’s letter to European Parliament President Antonio Tajani announcing EC plans to create a strategy for the successful accession of Serbia and Montenegro to the European Union by the end of 2018, with a perspective of accession to the bloc in 2025.
“Last month, the European Commission dealt a blow to the region when it promised an accession strategy for Montenegro and Serbia but turned its back on four other [Balkan] states,” Thaci said as quoted by the local RTK broadcaster.
Kosovo’s leader called the Commission’s attitude to the western Balkans, as well as Brussels’ enlargement policy, as “complicated.”
“The [EU] administration is afraid of xenophobia and weariness from the expansion, that it why it had pledged that the enlargement would not happen during the commissions mandate ending in 2019,” Thaci pointed out.
On September 13, Juncker said that the European Union needed to offer a credible enlargement prospect to the countries of the western Balkans for greater stability it its neighborhood. Also, Brussels said in a statement on September 21 that it was increasing its support for the states’ integration into the European Union for “irreversible” progress by the end of the current EC mandate.
Despite that, on Wednesday, Director General for Enlargement at the European Commission Christian Danielsson during his official visit to Pristina said that Brussels would not lift the visa regime for Kosovo until the country’s authorities ratify the border agreement with Montenegro intended to formally recognize the boundaries between these two countries, the deal which the parties failed to achieve over the past several years.