17. July 2018

UK report: Serbia will not catch up with EU in 50 years

It could take the region of 50 or 60 years catch up with EU living standards, a report of the UK Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee has stated. The report, whose excerpts are published by Blic in an article by Natasa Latkovic, was presented ahead of the recent Western Balkans summit in London, and the daily said its essence was that "the prospects of the the six countries of the Western Balkans, when it comes to EU membership, are pretty glum." Less than 25 years ago, the Western Balkans was blighted by armed conflict, including some of the most extreme violence perpetuated against civilians in Europe since the Second World War, the report said, and quoted Dimitar Bechev from the University of North Carolina as saying that among the many obstacles are "chronic economic stagnation, bilateral disputes and ethnic conflicts." "The Western Balkans has overcome many of the problems which bred violent conflict in the 1990s, but his is where the good news ends. It remains hampered by a set of interwoven problems -state capture, chronic economic stagnation, bilateral disputes and ethnic conflicts -which prove that the region’s progress cannot be taken for granted. These problems are exacerbated by local elites who have an interest in the status quo," Bechev stated. The remarks about 50 or 60 years being needed to catch up with EU living standards came from an EBRD official, while the World Bank forecast puts this time range at between 40 and 200 years. At:

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