VIENNA – President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker warned today that there is a danger of new military conflicts in the Balkans, if the countries of the region are left without European perspective.
“If such a complex European region gets an impression that we are not serious with the European perspective, we will experience, sooner rather than later, what we had in the Balkans during the 1990s”, stressed Juncker in a speech titled “For Europe as a Foreign Policy Actor” delivered in front of the Austrian Parliament.
Juncker emphasised that the history of the 1990s still has not been overcome in the Balkans.
“The history of the 1990s was made possible because the past decades and centuries had not been dealt with”, he stated.
He nevertheless pointed out that the road of Western Balkan countries towards the full EU membership is still long. According to him, a progress can be seen, but it does not stand out enough.
Juncker proposed that the Western Balkan countries should be offered some kind of an economic area in which they could partially act the way they would when they become full members.
Full membership is not expected before 2025, Juncker said. He underlined that EU should intensively work with the region and help it where necessary, but also make it very clear that every border dispute should be solved before entering the EU.