Euro-integration of the Western Balkans as unacceptably slow and Euroscepticism is growing


At the leadership conference within the framework of the Podgorica Club, which was held in Skopje, participants said that it is time for the EU to take concrete political decisions. The former president Branko Crvenkovski proposed that, in the meantime, the countries of the region jointly initiate gradual integration, through economic cooperation with the European Union.
In the case of Macedonia, all possible precedents were set and complete unprincipledness was demonstrated on the part of the EU, said Crvenkovski.
:When 2030 is mentioned as a date for possible expansion, the sentence should be supplemented with: if the Union is reformed and prepared for expansion by then. All the countries of the Western Balkans, without exception, should together ask the EU for access to the common European market and to the Union’s structural funds, not as an alternative to full membership, but as an intermediate framework that will further prepare us for full integration,” said Crvenkovski.
Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski also addressed the conference, who said that after the December summit and the internal elections of the Union, it will be even more complicated for the countries that are waiting for negotiations.
“One of the most common comments in the region is that, if Macedonia, despite the name change, did not get the start of membership negotiations, then what can and should others do to advance on that path. At the upcoming December summit, the European Council has the opportunity to make decisions for faster integration of the countries of the Western Balkans, instead of postponing that issue until after the European elections,” said Pendarovski.

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