Brussels: – European Union Commission Chief Jean-Claude Juncker warned of a possible new war in the Balkans, if those countries do not feel the EU is serious about offering them future membership. Millions of people had lost their lives in the war that sparked in Yugoslavia, the largest country in the Balkan region in the nineties. It led to the break-up of Yugoslavia into five new nations.
Juncker tried to point out the developments in the Balkan countries over the last few years and the policies adopted by the Union regarding the Balkan countries. Although, the EU had assured to offer its membership to all the Balkan countries, no country except Slovenia and Croatia has joined so far. The leaders of the EU including Juncker reiterated that it could be as late as 2025 for the rest of the Balkan countries to attain full EU membership.
“If, in Europe’s highly complicated landscape, the impression arises that we’re not serious about offering the prospect of EU membership to the western Balkans, then we might later or rather even sooner, experience what we had in the Balkans in the 1990s,” was the stern warning issued by European Union Commission Chief Juncker In the 90’s decade, factors like economic and political crises, ethnic disputes and rising nationalism had caused a war in the Yugoslavian union. The NATO had to carry out military interventions twice during this war that continued for over a decade. As a result, five new countries viz. Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia were formed.
A subsequent referendum in Serbia led to the creation of an independent Montenegro. In 2008 the Kosovo region in Serbia unilaterally declared its independence. Although more than 100 countries including the United States has recognized Kosovo, as an independent country, the United Nations has not yet allowed it to become its member. At the same time, other countries including Serbia, Russia and Spain have refused to offer recognition to Kosovo as a country.
After offering membership to two of the Balkan countries, the European Union initiated accession negotiations with Serbia and Montenegro, and the other countries were suggested to wait. The EU leaders have advised them to ensure that all border and ethnic conflicts between the west Balkan states must be resolved before the membership can be attained. Countries such as Serbia, however, have taken an aggressive stance on this issue.
In order to reduce the discontent over full EU membership, President of the European Union Juncker has suggested that the EU should offer the states a status of “economic area” and try to treat them like other member countries.