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Slovenian PM on Serbia's EU perspective: "There's lot of opportunism when it comes to W. Balkans"


We need to get rid of the illusion that things will get resolved by themselves, and if the EU does not expand, then someone else will - warned Janez Jansa

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Janez Janša

Photo: Tanjug/AP

Ukraine and Serbia have a European perspective because they are in Europe and will always be there, but they want the perspective of EU membership, and that was difficult to write into the documents and it had to be fought for, said Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa.

"There is particularly a lot of opportunism when it comes to the Western Balkans," he told a Slovenian broadcaster. Slovenia is just about to end its rotating EU presidency.

He also revealed what one of the European leaders told him.

"I won't say his name, he even said in during a debate, "Why would we bring them into the European Union, when they are cheaper for us this way as labor?'," said Jansa, stating that even in some old EU members, narrow-mindedness or "nationalist interests" prevail over the vision of a free, peaceful and united Europe.

During its presidency of the Council of the European Union, Slovenia managed to reintroduce the term "membership perspective" into the documents, instead of the mere "European perspective" for the countries in the Balkans and the European Eastern neighborhood, said the Slovenian prime minister.

"One of the strategic successes is that we have returned enlargement to the table as one of the key strategic projects of the EU. But, that required a lot of discussion," Jansa during his traditional interview before the New Year.

According to him he said many times during those discussions that "after everything we have experienced in the East and what we have seen in the Balkans in recent decades, it should be clear that the EU must expand, thus expanding the space of freedom and prosperity."

"We need to get rid of the illusion that things will get resolved by themselves, and if the EU does not expand, then someone else will," said Jansa.

He stated that at the meetings in Brussels, he achieved that the EU documents instead of the "European perspective" of European countries outside the EU included their "membership perspective"which, according to him, met with the opposition by some of old members, founders of the EU, Hina agency reported.

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