The European Union has mobilized huge financial, political and security resources to stabilize the Balkans, often serving the flagship policy of offering EU membership to qualifying countries. The wars of the 1990s and the economic hardships that followed have been largely overcome, but enlargement has stalled and the region’s uncertainties continue. The logic of EU enlargement is in even greater trouble further east in Turkey. Here media freedoms have shrunk, relations have strained over Turkey’s incursion into north-east Syria and the two sides are struggling to find a common policy on helping almost four million Syrian refugees in the country.
Angelina Eichhorst, Deputy Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia / Director of Western Europe, Western Balkans, and Turkey at the European External Action Service, joins Hugh and Olga this week to discuss how the EU and its eastern neighbors can navigate periods of more strained relations and why continued engagement and dialogue is crucial for long-term stability and prosperity.
“We must shape our interests together, not by sitting at different tables”.
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