Tuesday, May 28, 2024

THE START OF THE DISCUSSIONS FOR EU MEMBERSHIP IS AN ALARM FOR OLOGARKS AND CORRUPTORS

The start of the discussions is definitely good news for honest citizens seeking values ​​and standards, but an alarm for corrupted oligarchs and politicians. The EU’s decision to take the wheel on the reform process of North Macedonia and Albania is in fact taking control of the geopolitical agenda in this part of the Balkans. Balkan countries are known for hypocritical politics when it comes to strategic orientations – they absorb Western funds but flirt with the East.

Author: Xhelal Neziri

Neither North Macedonia nor Albania have the capacity to install the basic criteria of the European Union (EU), which then enter into the membership negotiation process. Both countries are characterized by rooted corrupt practices, control over all institutions that are by definition independent, and reform acting.

Starting from this, Brussels seems to want to take over the process of reforming from the foundation of the state systems of both Balkan countries aspiring for membership. Instead of letting  Skopje and Tirana’s politicians themselves to implement the European agenda, the EU, with its 35 chapters in all fields, will begin reconstructing, not only state systems, but also their geopolitical agendas.

Thus, at the European Council meeting, scheduled for 17 and 18 October, member states are expected to support the European Commission’s (EC) proposal to start the accession process with the two aspiring countries. The Bundestag’s decision to load Angela Merkel’s Government to vote “for” the opening of talks with Skopje and Tirana seems to have put an end to the dilemmas of whether the date should be further postponed due to the lack of concrete results in the candidate countries.

The first chapters to open early next year are 23 and 24 – which scan and fundamentally reform the judiciary. “EU policies in the field of judiciary and fundamental rights aim to further preserve and develop the Union as an area of ​​freedom, security and justice. Creating an independent and efficient judiciary is crucial. The impartiality, integrity and high standard of judgment of the courts are essential for the protection of the rule of law.

This requires a firm commitment to eliminate external influences on the judiciary and to ensure adequate financial resources and training. Legal guarantees for fair trial procedures must exist,”it is stated in the official description of Chapter 23. It further states: “Similarly, Member States must fight corruption effectively, as it present a threat to the stability of democratic institutions and the rule of law. A solid legal framework and credible institutions are required to support a coherent policy on preventing and fight corruption.

Member States must ensure respect for the fundamental rights and rights of EU citizens guaranteed by the Acquis and the Charter of Fundamental Rights.” Meanwhile, Chapter 24 is entitled “Justice, Freedom and Security” obliges the contender states to fulfil all the criteria related to these three interrelated issues. “EU policies aim to preserve and develop the Union as an area of ​​freedom, security and justice. For matters such as border control, visas, external migration, asylum, police cooperation, the fight against organized crime and counter-terrorism, drug co-operation, customs cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal and civil matters, Member States should be properly equipped to properly implement the growing framework of common rules. Above all, this requires a strong and well-integrated administrative capacity within law enforcement agencies and other relevant bodies, which must meet the required standards.” This chapter also highlights the need for reforms in the police and security sector. “A professional, reliable and efficient police organization is of priority importance. The most detailed part of the EU’s policies on justice, freedom and security is the Schengen Acquis, which means the removing of internal border controls in the EU.  However, for the new Member States, significant parts of the Schengen Acquis have been implemented following a separate Council decision which should be taken after accession.” Next will be the chapters that will reform and regulate education, trade, the environment, administration, the labor market and other areas of life according to European standards.

The start of the discussions is definitely good news for honest citizens seeking values ​​and standards, but an alarm for corrupted oligarchs and politicians. The EU’s decision to take the wheel on the reform process of North Macedonia and Albania is in fact taking control of the geopolitical agenda in this part of the Balkans. Balkan countries are known for hypocritical politics when it comes to strategic orientations – they absorb Western funds but flirt with the East.

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