Western Balkans and EU - Part 2

posted by julia on 2005/11/17 15:44

[ Western Balkans and EU ]

The EU is sending clear signs to the Western Balkans, political, but also economic ones: The EU member states agreed to extend the Western Balkans' duty-free trade access to EU markets for 5 more years (until the end of 2010).

There are only a few exceptions: wine, sugar, some fish products and 'baby beef.'

Things are also moving in the transport field: The SEE transport ministers agreed last week to develop a regional transport network. A regional secretariat is to work out a five-year plan. Funding will be provided by the EU.

Let us hope that this will be a direction towards a transport network less dictated by political affiliations are more by traveller needs! (Let me just remind here that there is no direct bus/train/plane connection between Sarajevo and Tirana, and that it takes 12h to travel from Sarajevo to Prishtina with a semi-direct bus via Novi Pazar...).

... Let us also hope that this declaration is more than a declaration of intent... A recent decision by the Croatian government seems to prepare food for conflict: Croatia has started construction on a 2,3 km-bridge between Komarna and Peljesac providing direct access from the Croatian mainland to the Southern peninsula, and bypassing the coastal strip of Bosnian territory around Neum. Croatians will thus be able to travel from Zagreb to Dubrovnik without crossing into Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Bosnian government has already sent a letter of complaint to the Croatian government, as the bridge would prevent large ships to get through to the only Bosnian port on the Adriatic (if Neum one day developed into a commercial port).



This weblog is a forum for discussion on the political and social processes linked to EU integration in the Western Balkans. We would also like to use this space to create a virtual network of researchers on this topic. You are most welcome to contribute to this weblog with comments, postings, links, or photos. Please use the "add comment" function at the end of each posting!
All photos by the Photo Arts Collective of Kosovo. First photo by Burim Myftiu (Swimming olympiade in Klina). Second photo by Mimoza. Third photo by Dashmir Izairi.
> RSS Feed RSS 2.0 feed for Kakanien Revisited Blog SEE-EU