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EU lacks joint stand on Western Balkans – minister

The EU is unable to work out a joint position on the accession of the Western Balkan countries, the Polish foreign minister told PAP after a Monday meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

Zbigniew Rau called the EU’s accession policy for the Western Balkans “anaemic,” and added that Brussels’ indecisiveness in this respect raised doubts about its strategic autonomy policy.

The EU accession prospects of the Western Balkan countries, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Albania, was discussed by EU foreign ministers, thefirstnews.com reports.

“The EU is not able to come up with a clear-cut position on the accession of the Western Balkan states. This places the effectiveness of its so-called strategic autonomy doctrine under a question mark,” Rau said.

Rau stressed that the strategic autonomy concept, which places the EU as an independent and sovereign political entity on the international arena, would require “tangible and visible” accession prospects for the Western Balkans, while in fact not even early-phase accession talks have been launched with any of the region’s countries.

He also warned that the EU’s failure to work out a uniform accession policy for the Western Balkans could bring the region’s countries under the influence of “third countries standing in rivalry with the EU.”

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