"Serbs and Albanians should do as Germans and French"
The solution for overcoming conflicts and living in peace in the Balkans is to work on interdependence, for states to rely on each other.Source: Tanjug
This has been stated by Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Oskar Benedikt, who added that under such a scenario, it is much harder to turn against each other, which applies particularly to Serbia and Albania.
"If we look at the current situation between Albania and Serbia, the rhetoric is, unfortunately, very negative, and I think we should view the concept from the 1950s, how obstacles were overcome then, and find inspiration in that," Benedikt told Tanjug.
He recalled that at that time Germany and France, instructed by the experience of the Second World War, moved toward reconciliation and cooperation on the basis of a community that the EU is founded on.
According to him, the concept of unity instead of divisions, on which the EU was created in the 1950s, should be applied to the Balkans.
"When I looked at history, I realized that leaders who brought these idea, in the 50s, were the generation who went through the war, experienced war and when you look at the Balkans, here too people went through the war, and I think that there should be strong incentives to avoid it forever," Benedikt said.
In Europe, he continued, there are those who say that this is not the right path and that countries should be separate, each for themselves - but at the latest elections in Europe have shown that most people do not think so.
The elections in Austria, France and the Netherlands have shown, namely, that Europeans do not want divisions, and are instead still committed to the idea of the European Union, he said.
"I think people want to continue on the path of unity. If you look throughout history, that path is really amazing, behind us are 70 years of cooperation and conflict resolution through discussions and institutions that pushed the common good ahead, and there is no situation where one country works against another, instead supranational institutions help to overcome these problems," said Benedikt.
That is why, he says, it is important to celebrate the unity of the EU also at the present time.
"We march toward unity, cooperation and sharing of resources, because, globally, we are small as individual countries. Europeans have a common cultural identity and common history and that is what we should do," Benedikt said.
67 years ago, then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman presented his proposal for creating an organized Europe, known as the Schuman Declaration, which is considered the beginning of what is now known as the European Union.