Annual Report 2008 on the European Community’s Development and External Assistance Policies and their Implementation in 2007
Published on worldpress.org, by Risto Karajkov, December 15, 2008.
The European Commission (EC) annual reports on would-be members brought a mixture of hope and bitterness in the Balkans, after being published early last month. Brussels regularly assesses the progress of aspirant countries in meeting the conditions for membership and hands out the carrot or the stick accordingly. Countries are commended for progress and promoted in the process, or criticized for lack of reforms and passed for rewards …
… It is often said every country runs the race alone. Alas, that’s way too simple. There is a dispute of how many runners there actually are in the case of Serbia and Kosovo, and the referee, who watches the finish line, is also not sure. They are bound to trip over.
Commissioner Rehn said recently that 2009 could be an important year for the Balkans, provided optimistic predictions come true. It would be about time. Croatia aside, all the others are in a race with a finish line nowhere in sight. (full text).