At the current pace of reforms, it is irresponsible to tell the people of the Balkans that they have a European perspective. No, they don’t. Their children do.
Regardless of what anyone might say about the speed of the Western Balkans’ EU accession, such as Federica Mogherini claiming that “it is largely up to Serbia to set the date for accession to the European Union,” it is obvious that the accession process is much lengthier than both the EU and respective Balkan governments are willing to admit.
The recent idea of the so-called “Berlin Plus” program–whereby Balkan governments will have access to millions of euros for infrastructure projects and projects that increase market competitiveness–is in its infancy, but has already garnered plenty of media attention.
As with most EU initiatives in the region, this one, too, is as mysterious to the EU itself as it is to Balkan politicians and citizens. It remains unclear if the “Berlin Plus” will ever see the light of day. A Member of the German Bundestag, Thorsten Frei, in an interview for Deutsche Welle, even went as far as to say he “knows nothing of this new Marshall Plan.”