EU: There will be no ‘Balkan Spring’

“The (opposition bloc’s) boycott of parliament is not acceptable, and there won’t be a “Balkan Spring” – this is the official stance of the European Union regarding the recent events in Albania, Montenegro, and Serbia.

In the light of recent events in the Balkan region, the spokeswoman for EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Maja Kocijančić stated that the protest in those countries that are taking place at the same time shouldn’t be compared.

“Protests in every country have their own characteristics and I would not compare those situations,” Kocijančič said in Brussels today.

She accepted the journalist’s assessment that there are “some common elements” in the demands of citizens who were protesting, but she stressed that they are not for comparison.

Kocijančič like Mogherini and Hahn yesterday, condemned the behaviour of Albanian opposition parties who left parliament asserting that such decisions may harm the functioning of the national assembly. Previously, in a comment to the recent anti-government protests in Albania, the High Representative Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn in their joint statement reaffirmed the right of citizens to engage in peaceful demonstrations as an essential feature and a core value of democracy, and strongly denounced any rhetoric by political leaders calling for violence.

Previously, members of the Lulzim Basha’s Democratic Party, as well as the Socialist Movement for Integration, have resigned from their parliamentary post on 20th February. They accuse Prime Minister Edi Rama and the ruling Socialist Party of manipulating the results of 2017 elections, corruption and criminal affairs, state paralysis and oppression. The move represents the pinnacle of several weeks of political turmoil.

Kocijančič repeated that the Balkan region has a clear European perspective that can become reality only through the implementation of reforms. She states that enlargement package reports for all candidate countries will be published in spring 2019, as previously planned.

Furthermore, Kocijančič stated that the EU’s common message to all partners in the Western Balkans was that the region has a clear EU perspective that can become reality only through the implementation of reforms.

(Politika, 25.02.2019)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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