It was reported that Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to prevent Serbia and Albania from being under the influence of Russia by continuing to promise EU membership.
Angela Merkel was on tour in Albania, Serbia and Bosnia when this was reported. She said that there won’t be any delays and difficulties with Albanian and Serbian membership.
Allegations were made that Chancellor is only interested in these memberships in order to use them as a tool to stop countries such as Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to obtain influence in the region.
Business newspaper Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten added that new memberships guided by geopolitical reasons were not always a sound choice. The US insisted on the membership of Greece and we can now observe the consequences of that choice.
Serbia and Albania are still very far from reaching EU standards in a number of areas. It has been noted that corruption in the region could threaten to turn EU projects into a financial black hole.
At the moment, Serbia and Albania are candidates for membership. However, accession talks have not started yet. Problems which could hinder the admission of two countries are economic issues and problems of ethnic strife and territorial conflicts. When it comes to Serbia, another issue is its refusal to accept the independence of its southern region of Kosovo.
In 1999 Serbia was bombed by NATO, after which Kosovo declared its independence under the recognition of Western countries.