Now is Not the Right Time to Play EU Values Politics

Letters to the Editor

25 January 2023

In response to Viktoryia Kolchyna’s piece Western Balkans EU Accession Depends on its Foreign Alignment, Michael Žantovský (Executive Director of the Václav Havel Library) responds.

“I think the fallacy is obvious. It is not the right time to play EU values politics, when we have all been thrown back, willingly or unwillingly, to a world of geopolitics. The Western Balkans has, for some time, been in Churchill’s words, “the soft underbelly of Europe”. We have to bring it to the fold, with all the flies in the ointment, in the same way the West had brought in Greece at the time of the Civil War. If we don’t, others will – it’s that simple.

If that happens, there would be hell to pay: illegal migration, undermining of liberal democracies in the region, stirring up ethnic strife, Russian troops there – Kosovo vs. Serbia at the moment is a good example. I know this kind of thinking has been out of fashion for some time, but it is better to have some people inside the tent doing things out than have them outside the tent doing them in.”

-Michael Žantovský (Executive Director of the Václav Havel Library) in response to Viktoryia Kolchyna’s Western Balkans EU Accession Depends on its Foreign Alignment published on 29 December 2022.



Featured photo by Bruno Martins on Unsplash

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