Csaba Sógor: the integration of the Western Balkans could be an EU success story

04.04.2017 |
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Csaba Sógor: the integration of the Western Balkans could be an EU success story

There is little talk about further extending the borders of the European Union, when we bring up the subject of the future of the EU, even though this is an issue of utmost importance in stabilizing the Western Balkans – argued Csaba Sógor during the Strasbourg plenary session.

During the plenary session of the European Parliament on Wednesday, MEPs discussed the conclusions of the March 9-10 meeting of the European Council. During the debate the RMDSZ MEP stated: just because some think it is not timely to talk about extending the EU we cannot forget the promises made to these countries. "We need to keep a realistic possibility of accession on the agenda. Otherwise we stand to lose our credibility in these societies. Europe needs success stories and the integration of the Western Balkans can be such a success story" – he said.

According to Csaba Sógor it is also important that we find an EU level solution for defusing ethnic tensions, and this is only possible if infringements of minority rights within Member States are not overlooked. The MEP expressed his opinion that the coexistence of various ethnicities is an important question in several member states and candidate states, affecting people's daily lives. "The EU cannot view these as problems of local interest that are to be solved at a Member State level" – he stressed.

During the Wednesday debate on the annual report on Montenegro Sógor brought up the same subject saying: "It is an erroneous approach that the report fails to acknowledge Montenegro's multi-ethnic nature and its consequences, the need for equal rights for the different national and ethnic communities.”.

Csaba Sógor further stated that when we talk about the countries in the Western Balkans we cannot lose sight of the fact that country borders and national and ethnic boundaries do not coincide. There is a large number of minorities living in each state, therefore the mutual reconciliation and the reduction of tensions is only possible if rights of national minorities are respected. "In many cases it seems that the closer a country is to accession the less these matters are taken into account, while in the cases of Member States it is simply rude to bring up the matter" – said the MEP in the opinion of whom all this is only denying reality and absconding responsibility, which may have serious consequences in the future.