Euroscepticism on the rise in the Balkans
Tuesday, 05 July 2016

If the European Union continues to keep the Balkans out, the Euroscepticism among EU members will continue to rise, Skopje media reports.

The EU has been preoccupied with internal affairs particularly after the Brexit (billions of euros will be gone from their budget), hence the EU enlargement with Balkans smaller nations went down on the list of priorities.

This is the opinion of experts as the Western Balkan Conference in Paris is under way.

According to them, the European Union is now showing interest in the Balkans only because of the refugee crisis and the possibility of a massive migrant influx. Therefore, Macedonia and Serbia were in the focus. However the trust between Macedonia and the EU is practically non existent as Brussels not just that did not show any support to Macedonia during the crisis, but it also did not provide a single euro in assistance, while it poured hundreds of millions of euros to Greece who was de facto contributing to the migrant crisis, leading many to believe this was a political and a manufactured crisis.


Diplomacy professor Lazar Lazarov underscores that great deal of euroscepticism has been noted across Macedonia, considering the fact official Brussels has been constantly changing the conditions for accepting new member states, did not help.

"The fall in support raises concerns among candidate countries but also among EU member countries that are announcing exit referendums. Stable Europe is indispensable as a balance between the US and Russia. Macedonia should definitely be part of the European Union, but the benefits for EU and Macedonia must be clearly defined", Lazarov explains.

At the moment, besides Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, and Montenegro have been granted candidate country status. Macedonia and Albania have not received a date for launching accession talks yet.

Macedonia was granted a candidate country status in 2005, however despite the positive remarks and recommendations from the European Commission, it has not been granted a date due to a veto by Athens.


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