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European Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations and Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn said that the situation in the Western Balkans remains fragile and that a permanent solution is possible only at an international level, and within the EU, and for Serbia, where a large number of citizens is “emotionally attached to Russia“, he points out that the strategic goal is EU membership.
– We can not, however, fix the dates of joining. We are talking about the accession process, and the speed countries make progress, depends only on themselves – said Hahn in Viennese daily newspaper “Courier”.
Hahn emphasizes that most of the citizens of the member states are abstained, as far as the resistance goes of accepting members to EU, which is why it is important to convince the people that the new member states are not a burden or a problem, but a gain.
The countries that want to join, according to his words, must fulfill the prerequisites, legal system must function, they have to be much attractive as a place for investments.
The economies of the states must be, in future admissions, the key factor.
– That is why we suggested joined marked for the region of western Balkans, with free flow of goods and services, joint recognition of certificates. It would be relatively easy to implement, without having to change contracts, and would be the first step in the European common market. You could create up to 80,000 by abolition of formal barriers – says Hahn.
He noted Russian influence in the region, especially when it comes to the geo-strategic development.
In this connection he mentioned Montenegro’s accession to NATO, which is not well received in Russia.
– They’re trying to create some problems, but it will not have long-term consequences, because 70 percent of the investment in the region comes from the EU and there will be more of them. Perhaps the number of citizens in Serbia are emotionally closer to Russia, but the strategic goal of Serbia is membership in the EU and the future of the region is in the Union – underlines Hahn.
As for Turkey, and its threats and provocations goes, he points out that the change of the Constitution, if accepted by the population, will be degradation of democracy.
– What is more important is the application. Method of administration will decide on what will be the final score with the EU – he suggests.
Hahn still says that he can’t complain on the agreement about the refugees, but he warns that the rhetoric overshadows daily work.
- I recommend to our Turkish partners to urgently implement “verbal disarmament”. We will not be able to permanently operate if threats and unacceptable insults are coming from Turkey, as well as comparisons with the Nazis – he stressed.
(Telegraf.co.uk / Tanjug)