“German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron have suggested to six western Balkan (WB) countries aspiring to the European Union membership that there is a little immediate prospect of their joining the bloc,” the Financial Times (FT) wrote following the Berlin Summit.
The London-based daily added Merkel and Macron told the WB leaders “to get their houses in order first.”
“The EU has long held out the possibility of bringing western Balkan countries into the bloc to foster economic progress and improve broader regional stability,” the FT said.
Adi Cerimagic, a Berlin-based analyst with the European Stability Initiative and an author of a recent report on the region told the FT that “there is something like a Brexit mood in the sense that leaders in the region do not understand how important the EU is for them, when it is actually the most important partner,” he said.
He added that a decade ago, there was more optimism about accession in each of the countries. “This summit serves to remind them that the EU is still there,” Cermagic said.