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EU expansion fails, for now. Serbia surrounded (Video)

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the European Union’s failure to expand the bloc further by adding Albania and North Macedonia.

European Council President Donald Tusk said he believes both, Albania and North Macedonia, will eventually join the EU, as fears grow amongst integrationists that a decision will be delayed by apprehensive member states.

According to the Express UK (, Tusk warned that a number of EU nations are planning to veto the accession talks with the two Balkan countries. EU member states are concerned about Albania’s problem with organised crime, domestic political tensions and nationalist rhetoric in a dispute with neighbours Kosovo and Serbia.

The Dutch parliament voted this against starting talks with Albania, citing concerns over corruption and crime.

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Via Ekathimerini

European Union states were at loggerheads on Monday over starting talks with Albania and North Macedonia to enter the bloc, while Cyprus threatened to veto any agreement on future enlargement unless the EU toughens its line on Turkish drilling.

EU ministers from the bloc’s 28 states meet in Luxembourg on Tuesday to discuss starting formal membership negotiations with the two Balkan countries a year after France and the Netherlands had blocked it, demanding more reforms in the fear of upsetting their parliaments and voters at home.

North Macedonia has since sealed a landmark deal with Greece, ending a decades-old name dispute and prompting a dozen EU states to publicly call to reward Skopje.

At stake is also the EU’s own credibility and the bloc’s willingness to act against what it sees as growing influence by Russia and other foreign powers in the region still scarred by wars fought along religious and ethnic lines in the 1990s.

But national diplomats preparing the Tuesday meeting failed to reach an agreement on a joint legal statement, which needs unanimous backing of all EU states to be approved.

“There has been a massive disagreement and it’s not sure at all that ministers tomorrow will be able to find an agreement,” an EU diplomat said.

Rifts persisted on the latest draft text, including where it would say that enlargement would also depend on the EU’s ability to reform itself and effectively integrate any new members.

The latest – but still disputed – draft, which was seen by Reuters, would push any decision on North Macedonia and Albania to October and after the German parliament is due to look into the matter.

Turkish drilling

Complicating matters further, Cyprus has threatened to block the whole text on the future prospects of countries willing to join the EU – a group that also includes Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Balkans.

Diplomats said Nicosia was demanding a tougher EU line on Turkey over offshore drilling in eastern Mediterranean, which the Greek Cypriot government says violates its exclusive commercial area.

Cyprus and Greece said they could seek EU sanctions against Turkey, though the bloc is not seen acting on that for now.

EU ministers meeting on Tuesday – as well as the EU’s national leaders due to meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday – would, however, issue a warning to Ankara.

The current language of the draft ministerial statement says Turkey “continues to move further away from the European Union” and calls on Ankara to stop “illegal” drilling. Turkey says the area is on its own continental shelf.

Diplomats said Cyprus was seeking a clearer threat that, should Ankara not change tack, the EU could formally end talks on upgrading its customs union with Turkey and on the right for visa-free travel for Turkish citizens traveling to the EU, as well as cutting funds for the key NATO ally.

The EU formally halted Turkey’s long-stalled membership bid over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s sweeping crackdown on critics following a failed 2016 coup. While the relationship is tense, the EU still depends on Turkey on security issues, as well as migration.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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Clinton's Other Haiti Gambit
Clinton's Other Haiti Gambit
June 25, 2019

Quote: “The Dutch parliament voted this against starting talks with Albania, citing concerns over corruption and crime.”

If Albania is corrupt and crime-ridden, it’s the shining light on a hill of perfection compared to Kosovo.

Remember Clinton’s absurd applause for a ‘multi-ethnic democracy’ finally prevailing there? I think Washington has a standing bi-partisan rule: “neutralize dissent by making its stomach churn so often that it dies of indigestion”.

Smoking Eagle
Smoking Eagle
June 25, 2019

In Canada, there is a supermarket chain called Loblaws (Provigo in Quebec). Years ago, Loblaws marketed a number of “select” products they called “President’s Choice” (PC). Now, everything, both select and otherwise, seems to carry this President’s Choice label. This reminds me of the EU. In the 1960s, as Alex points out, a few “select” countries formed the EU club, but now it’s a case of “select and otherwise”, and just as empty of meaning as the President’s Choice label. The EU is all about removing European countries’ sovereignty and controlling a large land mass that is being set up… Read more »

Snap, Crackle & Pop
Snap, Crackle & Pop
Reply to  Smoking Eagle
June 25, 2019

Loblaws, wow. We had those in the NorthEast eons ago. You just jolted decades old dormant synapses with that one..

From Wiki: “What is likely the final empty Loblaws building in New York, in Johnstown/Gloversville, was demolished in 2015, having been standing empty since the chain’s departure in the 1970s, even with the name still on the sign, showing no reuse of the site.”

June 26, 2019

The EU is falling apart as it is, and the elites want to expand it to include all those unstable states. What are they trying to do: hasten its disintegration?

Emidio Borg
Emidio Borg
June 27, 2019

The EU is a whorehouse run and owned by German pimps. The French do the catering, the Poles wash the floors and the Romanians pick their wives up from after work.
So glad we voted to leave that squalid sh /thole.

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