Today (10 May) Foreign Affairs Council discusses the situation in the Western Balkans. There have been worrying messages coming from the region in the past few weeks, fuelled by nationalism and shortsighted discussions about the past and the future of these countries. Members of the European Parliament, of the German Bundestag and of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe addressed a letter Chancellor Angela Merkel regarding the upcoming Berlin Summit, part of the Berlin Process.
We called Chancellor Merkel to make sure to prioritise historical reconciliation, end impunity and to fight against crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, including their denial. We would like to see further integration of the Western Balkan countries, however, there are worrying trends and lack of real progress are not encouraging signs. The Western Balkans are part of Europe, and a credible enlargement is crucial to see the future of Europe. Especially the representatives of their vibrant civil societies, their standpoints and their views should be given a strong voice in the Conference on the Future of Europe.
Europe and the Western Balkans need commitment both from the nations of the Western Balkans and the member states and the institutions of the European Union. Politicians and civil society need to be engaged and this is a crucial momentum; unless we move forward, we are risking serious backsliding.
Photo credit: europeanwesternbalkans.com