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Western Balkans have a place in the European Union

7 5 1

The belief in a united Europe was so strong at the beginning of the 21st century that in 2003, just four years after the end of the war in Kosovo, the Western Balkan countries were offered the prospect of eventually becoming EU member states. Within a decade, there was little remaining confidence in the idea. What began with the bankruptcy of the global financial firm Lehman Brothers was followed by the economic collapse of entire nations. The European Union itself threatened to break up, and expansion was out of the question. After Croatia's EU accession in 2013, there was a halt to the notion of adding new members.

The countries of the Western Balkans have understood this message. There was no incentive to introduce the measures demanded by the European Union for membership or tackle cronyism in order to be granted early accession. Supporters of the European Union in the Western Balkans were left feeling cheated. There has been widespread cynicism about the whole issue.

Krsto Lazarevic was born in Bosnia-Herzegovina and fled with his family to Germany as a child. Today he lives in Berlin and works as a journalist for various media.

But perhaps this cynicism can be overcome. The reason for this is a policy paper that was........

© Deutsche Welle