Serbian nationals rejected the idea of joining the EU
The question of joining the EU, as posed by an article on the website of German broadcaster DW titled “Who wants to join the EU?”, resulted in a backlash of German and Serbian-speaking viewers and readers, following a report about the EU summit in Sofia on May 17.
Critics of the article said that the Western Balkans “did not want to enter the eurozone” – and that the EU “do not want to let us in”.
Among the 50 comments left on the piece, which was published on Monday May 21 and written in Serbian, not one rates the idea of EU accession of the Western Balkan states as positive.
Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, who make up the Western Balkan bloc, are currently not members of the European Union.
But under EU accession plans, Montenegro and Serbia could join the bloc by 2025.
An EU strategy released in February of this year, set a date of 2025 for Montenegro and Serbia to join the bloc first, as they are the most economically stable countries in the region.
DW user Adeberg C. wrote: “The EU train rolls on, next stop Balkan. The tickets are paid for by the Gullible Fritz.”
In Serbia, radio station B92, one of the country’s most popular news portals with over 1.5 million users, also posted the article on their website.
For two days it remained one of the most-commented articles but garnered a host of negative criticism from Serbian social media users.
Could the Western Balkans countries replace Britain in the EU?
User srrrrrrrrrrdjan wrote: “Germany takes a lot more from this EU than it gives, which is why populist parties all over Europe are growing stronger, propagating resistance against the German (economic and political) claws.
“Germans are not developing Serbia and the Balkans, not because they are connected to us, but because they want to expand their influence and expand their income.”
User Europejac said: “We do not want to enter the EU – and they do not want to let us in!”, in his comment on Serbia’s most widely read news portal, Blic (Blitz), who had also published the much-talked about article.
Another user, Boki, wrote: “Our politicians pretend that Europe is a big banquet with a lot of food and drink, but the waitresses have been running out of supplies for a long time.
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“The first took the best things, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania are collecting the crumbs because they were late, we would only be taken in to collect the dirty dishes and rinse them off.”
And user Vida showed an understanding of Germany’s rejection of EU enlargement.
They said: “As a German, I would also make similar comments: they distance themselves from potentially new, economically weaker members.”
And Blic reader Pera wrote: “The Serbs do not want to enter the EU, they are already doing too well, why should they migrate regularly to work in Germany or France when it’s better to work illegally?”
On Monday, the EU was warned to stay out of Eastern European politics by Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, as the rebellious Visegrad group fight to ensure they have more control over their states.
Cracks are appearing in the EU as the Visegrad four – comprising of Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland – say they wish to move in the opposite direction of Emmanuel Macron’s pro-union France.
But Mr Babis argued the European Commission (EC) should not shape politics of individual countries but rather allow member states to have the opportunity and independence to govern themselves.
The Western Balkans region still shows signs of the war that took place in the nineties and has been disrupted by on-going territorial disputes.
An EU strategy released in Feburary of this year, set a date of 2025 for Montenegro and Serbia to join the bloc first, as they are the most economically stable countries in the region.