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Juncker calls to accelerate talks on Balkan countries' EU entry 'to avoid war'

Brussels offers to grant the countries of the Western Balkans the option of 'preliminary accession', in order to not exacerbate the conflict
12:40, 6 October 2018

gazprom.ru

The European Union has to accelerate negotiations on the accession of the Western Balkan countries to the EU. Otherwise, another war can start in the region. President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker claimed this in Vienna on October 5, Bloomberg reports. 

According to the official, the European Union has to review the idea of the preliminary accession for the candidate states to the Union in order to increase their economic situation before the accession.  

Related: NATO not considering possibility of synchronized accession of Ukraine and Georgia into Alliance

'If we rob the western Balkan states of their accession perspective, if in this highly complex European area the impression emerges that we’re not serious about that perspective, we will later, or rather sooner, again experience what we had in the Balkans in the 1990s,' Juncker said.  

Only two former Yugoslav states, Slovenia and Croatia, have joined the EU so far. Serbia has so far opened 14 so-called 'negotiating chapters' with the EU, but its biggest hurdle is normalizing ties with Kosovo, which split away after the war almost 20 years ago and unilaterally declared independence in 2008. 

Serbia still considers Kosovo its administrative territory and does not recognize its independence. 

Related: Accession negotiations of Turkey to the EU suspended

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