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    Montenegrin guards of honor stand between NATO, left, and Montenegro flags during ceremony to mark Montenegro's accession to NATO, in Podgorica, Montenegro, Wednesday, June 7, 2017

    EU Accepts New Members When It's Convenient for Brussels – Political Scientists

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    It appears that the leadership of the Balkan countries is going to do whatever it takes to join the EU, Serbian political scientists have told Sputnik. Referring to Montenegro and Macedonia they noted that the adoption of unpopular measures in order to appease Eurocrats has not resulted in the long-awaited EU membership for the countries.

    Although Montenegro has adopted a number of unpopular political decisions dictated by Brussels, this has not accelerated the country's EU accession process.

    "Over time it turned out that [former prime minister and president] Milo Djukanovic and his associates didn't obtain anything but the short-term benevolence of EU bureaucrats for their subservient policies which brought disgrace upon Montenegro's history," Igor Damjanovic, a Montenegrin political scientist told Sputnik Serbia.

    In 2008 Montenegro recognized Kosovo's independence from Serbia although the Serbs account for 30 percent of the country's population. Then Podgorica adhered to the sanctions regime against Russia that was imposed by the EU and the US in 2014. In June 2017 Montenegro joined NATO and justified these unpopular measures in the hope that they would open the door to the EU for the country.

    The European Commission has recently announced that both Serbia and Montenegro are "frontrunners" that are due to join the EU "by 2025, if not sooner," according to Politico.

    In response Montenegrin Ambassador to the EU Bojan Sarkic expressed his dissatisfaction by saying that "[Montenegro has] been in the process much longer than [Serbia] and we are nearly closing the [negotiating] chapters while they are just beginning."

    The media outlet remarked that Brussels' decision has prompted "alarm, confusion and anger" among the other Balkan countries not included in the list.

    Commenting on the issue, Damjanovic highlighted that the accession of new countries to the EU depends on Brussels' political will in the first place. According to the political scientist, the Eurocrats' recent moves indicate that the Montenegrin foreign policy was a failure.

    "If Serbia joins [the EU] simultaneously with Montenegro or before it that will be a knockout for Djukanovic's foreign policy," the Serbian political scientist underscored.

    He focused attention on the fact that Turkey's accession to the EU was blocked by a political decision, despite Ankara being invited to the bloc almost 30 years ago. Similarly, Romania and Bulgaria entered the EU out of turn due to Brussels' political decision.

    In this context it appears that the compliance with EU criteria and the implementation of the provisions of the negotiating dossier "are not of particular importance," Damjanovic noted.

    Serbian political scientist Stefan Djukic believes that the EU has damaged its reputation. Apparently therefore, the countries seeking EU membership are trying to "buy" their place in the bloc by adopting pro-Brussels political decisions instead of meeting the union's requirements, he suggested.

    However, using Macedonia as an example, the Sputnik interlocutor stressed that this strategy is leading nowhere. 

    "Macedonian [ex-prime minister] Nikola Gruevski fulfilled all the demands of the US and the EU and it was [Washington and Brussels] who found a replacement for him when they decided that the time had come," Djukic pointed out, adding that despite all Skopje's efforts, the country is as far from  EU accession as ever.

    The political scientist noted that "if the strategy of the government of Montenegro is to please Brussels through small geopolitical services, then it is logical that the EU will treat it accordingly." According to Djukic, Brussels will accept Macedonia into the EU fold when it's convenient for the European leadership — apparently, along with Serbia.

    The views and opinions expressed by Igor Damjanovic, Stefan Djukic are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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