The Hague Institute’s Distinguished Fellow, Nikola Dimitrov, addresses Albania’s EU candidate status in the EurActiv Network. As the June 2014 EU Summit approaches, the author argues that it is high time to move forward on Albania’s candidate status for membership, for the sake of the Western Balkans, and for the sake of the EU as a whole.
The Albanian prime minister, Edi Rama, could not be clearer about the importance of keeping the ‘European dream’ alive in the Balkans. When I asked him, two weeks ago at the Hague Institute for Global Justice, where the region would be today without the European perspective, he answered with candor and foresight: “The Balkans can easily become what they were …,” he warned. “But we should not be let in because we are weak,” he clarified. Responsibilities, Rama contended, nevertheless fell on both sides: “When we do our homework, EU [member states] should also do theirs.”
European enlargement has fundamentally been about partnership. In order to sustain the progress made in the Balkan region so far and to bring stability and prosperity ‘to the point of no return’, the EU must uphold its part of the bargain.
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