Western Balkans to resolve disputes before joining EU

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker underlined the importance of offering West Balkans countries the prospect of EU membership, but insisted they must resolve all border disputes before joining the bloc.

The declaration shows the evolution of views of the EU institutions,  in the past being overly confident about its powers to enhance conflict resolution. Brussels has lived its desceptions in case of Cyprus – although the island joined the block as an undivided entity, since 2004 the EU has not been able to encourage positive change to a protracted dispute.

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