There are no talks about EU enlargement and situation in the Croatian environment is also tense. BiH is in a state of almost permanent crisis, relations between Serbia and Kosovo have further exacerbated lately, Macedonia is in the midst of a constitutional crisis and Montenegro is accusing Russian agents for coup attempt.
"Many politicians in the Balkans have realized that they don't stand a chance to enter the EU in the next mandate, so the willingness to sacrifice for the cause of EU membership altered to other forms of affirmation ahead of the elections or in clashes with their political competitors" says Picula.
He believes that the further weakening of European central institutions, would amplify conflicts within countries, especially between euroreformists and those whose positiones are threatend by EU standards. "There is no way that we can let the impact of EU becomes weak in the Balkans. Neither nature nor politics like vaccum, others, especially authoritarian non-European actors, would expand their influence, mainly Russia and Turkey. In addition to that, it remains unclear what kind of policy will USA lead towards the Balkans, under the president Trump", says Picula.
TELEGRAM: How should Europe response after the attacks in London? Do you feel safe?
PICULA: The dead and the wounded on the streets of London, Paris, Berlin, Nice and Brussels after the terrorist attacks in recent years, increasingly shape the awareness of EU citizens of the need for a much closer cooperation in the security sector among member states. The lates opinion polls show it, because such cooperation came out as a top priority. I believe that for the future model of the overall functioning of the EU, a much more convincing common defense and security policy than we have today, is needed. But, the real success in the fight against terrorism must come after the greater role of the EU in the rehabilitation of huge problems that North Africa and the Middle East are currenty facing. By preserving of democratic standards, with more equal participation of social strata in the national income and with equitable distribution of social opportunities, we will kill the deadliness of terrorism. In this kind of EU we are all going to feel much safer.
Read the full interview at the link.