At this critical juncture for Europe, it is important to remember that the EU – despite its very own shortcomings – has strengthened democracy across the old continent and acted as a vital barrier against extremism and nationalism.
Post Tagged with: "Greece"
Lucas Oldwine’s short film, ‘Syntagma’, explores the protests that gripped Athens in the summer of 2011; a vociferous and cohesive response against social injustices exposed and created by the economic crisis.
Given the on-going political crisis over hydro-carbon exploitation rights, plus a pending July 2012 deadline by which Greek Cypriots will assume the rotating EU Presidency, the failure of UN-mandated talks over reunification seems inevitable.
Despite the ICJ ruling that Greece had breached its obligation under the 1995 Interim Accord, the dispute is back to square one, with few signs of genuine interest to find a lasting resolution.
Faced with outstanding conflicts over sovereignty in the Western Balkans, the EU’s most efficacious strategy depends upon acknowledging and leveraging its own considerable limitations as an international actor.
Whilst imploring aspiring members to embrace its own system and values, the EU’s selectiveimplementation of standards – depending on the case and context – means that countries of the region, particularly the Republic of Macedonia, should be cautious about accession.
Reeling European governments and the Brussels bureaucracy will become even less patient than before in dealing with a region where their serial failures to enforce their myth of civic identity and multi-ethnic integration have undermined the narrative of Europe as a united, just, effective and relevant international actor.
With incumbent prime minister, Nikola Gruevski, having secured his third consecutive election, thereby confirming his and his party’s hegemony over Macedonia’s politics, it is now time to contemplate how a genuine system of coexistence can be built.
A recent conference explored some of the main obstacles – deriving from both internal and external sources – that the Western Balkans faces as it integrates into Euro-Atlantic structures.
Greece’s continued violation of bilateral and international agreements with respect to Macedonia calls into question its commitment, and that of the international community, to good-neighbourly relations in the Western Balkans.