A journey of 1486 kilometers in just 4 days. It is a real marathon that awaits the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyenwho will be visiting in the six Western Balkan countries from 26 to 29 October. The goal of this trip is clear: “To bring a message of solidarity and commitment to the Balkan countries and the will to cooperate with the region as a whole”, said the spokesperson-chief, Eric Mamer. The intention of the‘Europe is to move forward the accession process of the States of the region, despite the Square politic since the last meeting – that of Kranjwhich dates back to just over a year ago – has even gotten worse, due to the conflict between Ukraine And Russia. Fly and its influence are certainly one of the factors that most influenced the choice of making this journey, together with thrusts secessionist of some countries, such as Bosnia, which risk undermining the cohesion of an entire region. “It is a precise message of union in his politics foreign by Brusselstrying to hold that together Political community Europeaninaugurated last month, which he also asks to have the same political line on some dossiers, such as that of sanctions against Russia“, Highlights to ilfattoquotidiano.it Giorgio Fruscioneresearcher of Ispi which follows the area of Balkans.
The case of Bosnia – Certainly one of the most anticipated stages of the trip is that of Sarajevo, where the president will be on October 28th. There Bosnia has so far never received the status of candidate for entry into the Union, as well as Kosovo And Georgiaand showed no signs of improvement in the 19 key priorities indicated by the European Commission which affect all sectors, from economics to justice to the full functioning of federal institutions. The elections earlier this month have delivered an uncertain political picture between the victory of the reformistswhich obtained two out of three seats in the Central Bureau, and the reconfirmation of Milorad Dodik driving the Republic of Srpskathe pro-grass part of the country that looks the most to Belgrade that a Sarajevo, which, however, has been disputed. Yet two weeks ago the community executive recommended that the council grant a Sarajevo the status of candidate country, a significant step forward that would allay that sense of injustice that many in Bosnia Herzegovina they tried after theUnion granted it toUkraine. “As the Albanian Prime Minister says Edi Ramastatus is the end of the beginning: it is a symbolic message, a way to underline support for Bosnia Herzegovinabut it is also a way for the Commission to show that it has a geopolitical mission, the goal it had already set in 2019. The criticalities are known but the fact that the EU wants to be more assertive in the region is not a negative aspect “, He remarks Fruscione.
The ambiguity of Serbia – The current geopolitical context, then, risks leading the region to be attracted to powers foreignersinterested in having a reference in the area: among these there is certainly the Chinawhich has invested heavily in the infrastructure of Balkansas the case of the first 41 kilometers of the motorway between the Montenegrin port of Bar And Boljarea project of about 160 kilometers that wants to connect the Adriatic sea with the cities bordering the Serbia. This stretch of road today represents one of the most expensive motorway sections in the world: over 20 million euros per thousand meters, more than ten times the average European cost, for a total of 809 million euros, equal to one fifth of the public debt. montengrino of 4.33 billion euros. Podgorica he began to pay his debt, thus thwarting the possibility that Beijing could acquire a part of the national territory, probably a port on the Mediterranean. And then there is Flywhich in the peninsula has a precious reference in the Serbian president Aleksandar Vucicwho received his second term last April. Belgrade is the only one to have taken steps backwards on alignment with standard community respect for the rule of law, but the problem is above all the Union’s foreign and security policy: President Von der Leyen, who will also be in the Serbian capital on 28 October, will ask Vucic to get out of that ambiguous position of neutrality between Western economic partners and the historic Russian ally.
“What other countries do, like the Russia, in the region it is not new, it is the result of a consolidated work in recent years. If on Fly it is difficult to find an agreement, as regards the rest there are possibilities, as shown by the alignment on visas ”, he stresses Fruscione. Belgrade resumed applying for visas to third countries, such as Tunisia And Burundias he announced Peter They arespokesperson for the European External Action Service (Seae): a change of pace compared to the past, when the Serbia freely granted to non-EU citizens, whose countries have not been recognized a visa exemption regime by theEuropean Union, to arrive in the country and then head to Europe via the Balkan route. “Good signs are also seen on the case of Kosovo: after being questioned for a long time, it was understood that indeed there was a proposal from Emmanuel Macron And Olaf Scholz regarding the dispute with Belgrade”, He argues Fruscione. Indeed, according to what he claims Vucicthe plan provides for the adhesion of Pristina at the United Nations without the opposition of the Serbs while Belgrade it should get financial aid and a fast track to EU membership. The plan has not been formalized but it seems that this could be the basis for a normalization of relationships, which also provides for mutual recognition within a period of ten years. “The status for the Bosniathe Franco-German proposal for the Kosovo and the alignment of Belgrade the European visa regime are all elements not directly linked to the travel of Von der Leyen but in any case it signals that something is changing: the president’s journey does not come by chance and could be the beginning of something different “, highlights the researcher Ispi. To this we must also add another element: the next meeting between Brussels and the countries of the area will be on 6 December a Tiranain Albania: it is the first meeting of this type that does not take place in a capital of a large European country but in that of one that aspires to be one. “The choice is not for nothing random, European geopolitics is also based on this: it is a symbolic gesture for the country and the entire area. Highlight how theUnion is carrying out a geopolitical mission that goes beyond simple premises ”, he remarks Fruscione. The foundations for the success of that meeting, however, are largely placed in those 1486 kilometers that Von der Leyen is ready to go.