BRUSSELS – The war in Ukraine reminds us that the European perspective is not only a matter of socio-economic progress and prosperity but also of security and stability, wrote Majlinda Bregu, Secretary-General of the Regional Cooperation Council, in an opinion piece for Euractiv.
Bregu pointed out that, in the light of the Russian invasion, Ukraine submitted an official request for ‘immediate’ membership in the EU under a particular fast-track procedure, followed promptly by Georgia and Moldova’s formal applications.
“The geopolitical context blatantly reminds us that EU membership is not simply a methodological process of legislative approximation but political action. And a political action does not take a lifetime to be enacted”, she wrote.
According to Bregu, for a long time now, there has been a dichotomy between methodology and the political aspects of the EU integration.
“Meeting technical requirements did not grant visa liberalisation to Kosovo, nor the beginning of negotiations to Albania and North Macedonia. The lack of consensus within the EU on these issues, and the subsequent tortoise pace of accession, created an impression that Western Balkans are a pendulum that can still be swung by those who dare to take a shot at it”, she wrote.
Bregu added that fewer citizens each year believe that integrating their respective economies into the EU will take place any time soon.
“Given the recent events, no one can claim that this is of no concern to the EU’s future and security”, she wrote.
She added that the good-enough relationship WB and EU have can be comforting, but it has to be encouraging for the future.
“We are Europeans not only because we subscribe to the values enshrined in the Treaties of the European Union. We are Europeans because we choose to be. This does not take away from the merit-based process of EU accession”, Bregu concluded.