On 17th February 2008, a new State was born in the European continent. This birth however was not celebrated by all, causing deep splits within the United Nations and the European Union.
”In this critical moment in the Balkan region, JEF Europe invites the youth of Belgrade and Pristina to act as examples to governments and political actors. The young people of Kosovo and Serbia belong to the same European generation and JEF Europe will create opportunities for common projects, dialogue and mutual co-operation” – affirmed Samuele Pii, President JEF-Europe (Young European Federalists).
”The unilateral declaration of Kosovo’s independence will cause further instability in the Balkan region and also in countries across the globe where national minorities demand the right of self-determination. The EU has failed the difficult task of taking a common position, and its Member States are all going their own way on the issue”- expressed Andjelija Arandjelovic, Vice-President JEF-Serbia.
”Independence is the first step towards EU membership and the opportunity for all minorities of Kosovo to benefit from European integration. Choosing a modern rather than ethnic flag is the best example of how to solve ethnic problems in the region. We aspire to become members of the European Union along with all other nations of the Balkan region” – stated Fehmi Hajra, President JEF-Kosovo.
Despite the many differences of opinion and tensions, Serbia and Kosovo are looking towards the same direction – EU membership. JEF believes that in a globalised world it is not possible to guarantee security, economic prosperity and human rights to European citizens without the support of the international community and the European Union.
”The question is – which EU will the Balkan countries join? An EU with a real federal government able to act, or an EU which would rather move ambiguously? JEF welcomes the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty, but we strongly believe that the new treaty will not solve this dilemma. Our elected representatives are responsible for finding solutions to global issues and for uniting the European continent. The global challenges are there, and now is the time to address them!” – continued Samuele Pii, President JEF Europe.
The independence of Kosovo demonstrates how weak and divided the foreign policy of the EU really is – once again incapable of taking a united and decisive stance. The Lisbon Treaty, once ratified may well offer an institutional solution for a Europe of 27, but falls short of a Europe of 35. With the Lisbon infrastructure, the EU will lack the means to open its doors to other European States. It’s the role of the European Parliament to elaborate institutional proposals for the future, and JEF is ready to work with those MEPs who are willing to keep the values and objectives of European integration without building a ’fortress Europe’.
”Following the ratification of Lisbon, we should be prepared for different scenarios. Are we ready to accept that with the new rules in the EP, the countries of former Yugoslavia – Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, etc -will in total have a larger representation of MEPs than the average-sized EU State? This is only one example to demonstrate that after Lisbon, the EU’s institutional settlement will still need radical reform. It’s time to talk about the future of Europe – in all honesty!” – concluded Samuele Pii, President JEF Europe.