Institut für Europäische Politik: IEP Lunch Debate on “Perspectives on Stabilisation and Integration of the Western Balkan States”, 2 May 2012

Guest speaker Doris Pack, Chairwoman of the Committee for Culture and Education and a member of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo, discussed the numerous challenges of EU integration both individual Balkan countries as well as the region as a whole are facing. Pack emphasised that EU involvement in the area should not be viewed as exclusively altruistic, as a stable South-Eastern Europe will present much less of a threat to the EU than one festering in joblessness, growing nationalism, and corruption. The Balkans can also not be viewed as a single entity treatable with a single solution – despite regional parallels, each country must be approached individually and carefully. Finally, in order to avoid later complications as in the cases of Romania and Bulgaria, each country must completely fulfill all EU entry criteria before receiving a set date of EU accession.