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EU must join US in renewed Western Balkans talks

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Among the issues discussed at the Bled Strategic Forum, which took place in Slovenia earlier this month, was the further integration of the Western Balkan states into the European Union. And while foreign ministers from the Balkan states were in attendance, there were noticeably fewer top diplomats from existing EU member states.

The guest who attracted the most attention was Matthew Palmer, the newly appointed US special envoy for the region. Once again, the US has seized the initiative and taken the first step in an effort to wake up an EU currently caught up in its own problems. Washington is hoping to bring the Western Balkan countries, currently at an impasse, back to the negotiating table and nudge them toward a genuine solution to their years-old disagreements.

In fact, it should be up to the EU to handle the problems of the region and actively promote the countries' further European integration. But back in the 1990s, when Bosnia and Herzegovina, and later Kosovo, were involved in terrible wars, it was US initiatives that put matters on the right track.

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© Deutsche Welle