Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama gained EU candidate status for his country at the third attempt (photo: dpa)

Germany’s Angela Merkel takes initiative over Balkans’ membership

Germany is hosting the first of a series of annual conferences to help the Western Balkans join the European Union. EU countries have used their veto powers over the last 10 years to block any Balkan countries - apart from Croatia - from joining. The German initiative is a wake-up call for Europe to recognise the geopolitical importance of including Balkan countries in EU plans.

<i>German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s initiative to hold annual meetings between the European Union and the Western Balkans has returned the Balkans to the European agenda. The first meeting is on August 28, 2014, and is an annual support conference for the Balkan countries towards European integration. ...

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Professor Dr. Blerim Reka
The Balkans’ people have lost their commitment to the EU over the last 15 years following the EU’s ‘enlargement fatigue’. Albanians in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia remain the most pro-European nation in the region, with more than 85 per cent support for EU integration. All other Balkan countries are less pro-European compared with 10 years ago
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