Benedict: Interdependence is the solution for the Balkans

Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Oscar Benedict offers a solution to overcoming conflicts and promoting peace in the Balkans, and that is interdependence with each Balkan state relying on each other.

“If we look at the current situation between Albania and Serbia, the rhetoric is, unfortunately, very negative, and I think we should view the concept from the 1950s, how obstacles were overcome then, and find inspiration in that,” Benedict told Tanjug. 

He recalled that at that time Germany and France, instructed by the experience of the Second World War, moved toward reconciliation and cooperation on the basis of a community that the EU was later founded on. 

According to him, the concept of unity instead of divisions, on which the EU was created in the 1950s, should be applied to the Balkans. 

“When I looked back at history, I realized that leaders who came up with this idea, in the 1950s, were the generation who went through the war, experienced war and when you look at the Balkans, here too people went through the war, and I think that there should be strong incentives to avoid it forever,” Benedict went on to say. 

In Europe, he continued, there are those who say that this is not the right path and that countries should be separate, each for themselves – but the latest elections in Europe have shown that most people do not think so. 

The elections in Austria, France and the Netherlands have shown that Europeans do not want divisions, and are instead still committed to the idea of ​​the European Union, he said. 

“I think people want to continue on the path of unity. If you look throughout history, that path is really amazing, behind us are 70 years of cooperation and conflict resolution through discussions and institutions that pushed the common good ahead, and there is no situation where one country works against another, instead supranational institutions help to overcome these problems,” added Benedict. 

(EWB, B92, 10.05.2017)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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