Integration or isolation for the EU?

Last week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited Albania and different Western Balkan international locations. Her important political message was that the way forward for our international locations is throughout the European Union. Regarding Tirana and Skopje, she mentioned that she was personally decided that the EU intergovernmental convention for the opening of accession negotiations needs to be convened as quickly as potential, ideally inside this 12 months. She promised that the trail in the direction of a standard future can be outlined on the Ljubljana summit with the leaders of the European Union along with their friends from the Balkans. 

In parallel with these statements, the brand new company Reuters reported that the EU had not agreed to ensure to the Western Balkan international locations the prospect of membership on the Ljubljana summit.

The two-page a call for participation to the summit, signed by European Council President Charles Michel within the final paragraphs mentioned that on the second day, October 6, there’ll discuss concerning the Balkans, the necessity to stabilize the area, the present social-economic developments after the pandemic, strategic cooperation, and so forth. No phrase on EU enlargement, the long run membership of our international locations. Meanwhile, for Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa (Slovenia at the moment holds the six-month presidency of the European Union), EU enlargement within the Balkans was the primary and solely goal of this summit, which was initiated by him. 

The newest from Ljubljana is, in the long run, the phrase ‘enlargement made it to the summit declaration. 

The Albanian public, which isn’t extensively conversant in the institutional structure and decision-making powers throughout the EU, has been seeing solely confusion within the attitudes of European politicians for a number of years. But even the Albanian authorities, which is meant to be properly knowledgeable about these items, grew to become ridiculous when in June 2018 it celebrated the opening of negotiations with and champagne and medals for its personal officers. For years, we’ve got seen from the European Commission, a part of the European Parliament and part of the EU’s 27 members, a constructive, however basically lavish and embellished, evaluation of the standards of democracy and the rule of legislation. The relaxation is extra goal in evaluation and extra rigorous in perspective.

For years I’ve been arguing that an goal evaluation and a rigorous, however appropriate and honest perspective would assist a European Albania (and a European Balkans) extra by way of the Copenhagen Criteria as the essential values – freedom, rule of legislation, democracy and human rights. The lavish approach erects propaganda facades, the issues stay unresolved and positively reappear later much more aggravated, as has occurred in post-Slobodan Milosevic Serbia, which has regressed particularly in these seven years of negotiations with Brussels. All of those points will proceed to be mentioned within the coming months and years no matter whether or not an intergovernmental convention manages to be held earlier than Christmas.

In addition to the information of EU enlargement within the Balkans, one other piece of stories drew consideration – numerous EU members, together with these which are historically pro-enlargement, have raised issues concerning the abuse of free motion by Balkan residents.

According to Germany’s personal reporting to EU authorities, the issue – with the dimensions starting from 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 because the least dangerous – was that Albania and Serbia ranked 2 and seven. Western European international locations have additionally complained about visa overstays and different violations by Albanian nationals. As a end result, they’re taking a look at suspending the visa liberalization program. In April 2019, the Netherlands demanded that the visa-free travel routine wanted to be cancelled for Albania. The proposal was rejected as a result of the Dutch have been the one EU members who had proposed such a measure. Today, nevertheless, that is now being demanded by a substantial variety of Europe’s core members. This implies that Albania’s greatest and most tangible EU achievement of the final decade, specifically visa-free travel to Europe, is being significantly jeopardized.

In 2014, 4 years after the visa liberalization, mass emigration from Albania to Germany, France and throughout the started.

At that point, the then-Interior Minister (and present defendant in a drug dealing case), Saimir Tahiri, and Prime Minister Edi Rama “explained” to us within the parliament that it was the Albanian emigrants who’ve been settled in Greece for years, and who after the monetary disaster there, began the second exile. Rama has by no means apologized for this sordid lie. But later he justified emigration from Albania as an irresistible social want; even within the face of reprimands from Europe.

This continued like this even when the numbers of Albanian emigrants exceeded, in absolute and relative phrases, each different nation from the Baltics to Bulgaria. In truth, the EU authorised the abolition of visas solely on ensures that there wouldn’t be an avalanche of Albanian migrants, however that for these coming into Europe, they’d nonetheless legally fulfill the wants of the native labor markets.

It is probably going that the Rama authorities doesn’t have the desire to create hope for future by good governance. Maybe the federal government doesn’t care that society is dropping professionals and the center class, however this will likely even have been calculated for its electoral benefit. But perhaps Albanians additionally want a shake to react to this devastating hemorrhaging of individuals.

The go to by Austra’s Minister of Interior Karl Nehammer to Tirana concurrently with Ms. Von der Leyen was perceived as a routine. It was about cooperation within the struggle towards crime and unlawful immigration, particularly from the Middle East and Central Asia. But the Austrian media revealed one other fascinating element – the issue in Albania is that plenty of individuals from these areas come legally into Albania as they don’t want a visa. According to the Austrian police investigating their mobile phone knowledge, they reappear illegally in Austria. Some of them convey issues about public security, crime and terrorism. Two years in the past, Rama claimed that he would remedy the shortage of a labor pressure within the nation with hard-working “Bangladeshis”. 

Meanwhile, there’s native proof that these Arabs or Asians who legally set foot right here and have been initially employed, disappeared after just a few months. This was probably as a result of they headed for wealthy Europe. Perhaps Rama did this after being influenced by the globalist concepts of his mentor in New York, who fights for a world with out borders and migration with out obstacles. Perhaps Rama was invested in a real human trafficking scheme with  “businessmen” round him who have been keen to make fast cash.

In any case, it’s a failure of the “working Bangladeshis” initiative, which is yet one more drawback that Europe will get from our authorities, in addition to a threat that Albanians will begin queuing for visas just like the Kosovars are at the moment doing. The latter of which have forgotten what it was like earlier than 2010.