Opinion

The Western Balkans risks missing an opportunity again

The Western Balkans risks missing an opportunity again

In this Friday's episode of the podcast, Ditmir Bushati spoke with Manuel Sarrazi, representative of the German government for the countries of the Western Balkans.

Today, Tirana hosted the ministerial meeting of foreign ministers of the Berlin process that precedes the October 16 Summit in Tirana.

What happens parallel to these events that are located in Tirana, is the flight of doctors, nurses and the desire of medical students to Germany.

A concern for the entire Western Balkans

Ditmir Bushati recalls that citizens are connecting Germany more with the wave of nurses, medical students and doctors who are leaving, causing a loss of human potential in the region.
While Sarrazin says that the Western Balkans risks losing an opportunity again"!


On the one hand, we have a geopolitical shift that has brought enlargement back to the scene as a political instrument of the European Union. On the other hand, the enlargement policy in the Western Balkans seems to be weak as an impetus for internal changes. So, I think we have a mixed situation. And then it's usually followed by the weakest argument for expansion, which is actually that people aren't willing to wait for the changes they want. On the one hand, as you may know, the region is quite patient in terms of major domestic policy changes, but on the other hand, people are leaving the region," he emphasizes.

Sarrazin says that the countries of the Western Balkans may make the mistake of missing a great opportunity again, as sometimes the Western Balkans are quite good at this.

Por a është vendimi për të organizuar konferencën e Berlinit këtu në Tiranë një shprehje vullneti se e ardhmja e rajonit tonë është në BE?

For Manuel Sarraz, the results of the meeting are more important than the venue of the meeting. "The idea is to give the message that the region
is on an equal footing in the Berlin Process. That's the idea. We need to stand for political will and Germany is trying to inject an influx of political will into the region as well with the aim of increasing the response to more political speed. For us, it is not only about the opening of chapters and the opening of negotiations, especially for Albania and North Macedonia. Our commitment
is for a strong political will and for concrete results", emphasizes the Special Representative of the German government for the countries of the Western Balkans, Manuel Sarrazin.


You can find the full episode of this podcast at this link.