A test for the European Union in the Balkans

A central premise of the European Union is that economic integration will quell the rivalries between nations that for centuries have sparked the continent’s bloody wars. In the Balkans, this approach faces what may be its toughest test. Serbia applied for EU membership in 2009, the year after Kosovo declared independence. In 2012, the EU officially nominated him as a candidate. But now Kosovo has become a stumbling block.

The European Parliament on July 6 approved a report demanding that Belgrade recognize Kosovo as a “prerequisite for EU membership”, not to mention the fact that five members – Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Slovakia and Spain, all of whom have their own territorial disputes – also refuse to do so. A subsequent Ipsos poll found that only 35% of Serbs favored joining the EU, which previously enjoyed strong majority support.


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