The EU and the Avoidance of Conflict between Albania and Macedonia

Still on the subject of the European Union, Albania and Macedonia, my hopes are that if those two nations do join the EU, then it might help prevent, or at least mitigate, further ethnic tensions in that part of the Balkans. Many of the Balkan states contain large ethnic minorities within their borders. The former Yugoslavia before its break up included not only Serbs, Croats and Muslims, but also Macedonians, Slovenians, ethnic Albanians, Romanians and Hungarians, as well as a number of other nationalities. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia also contains a sizable Albanian minority. This may constitute as much as 30 per cent of the population, although this is disputed. There has been considerable political tension between Albanians and Macedonians, and some observers have feared that a civil war might break out, should the Albanian minority demand that the parts of the country they inhabit break away to join Albania.

Some of us can still remember the horrific bloodbath which broke out when the former Yugoslavia collapsed, with its massacres and ethnic cleansing. The same occurred when Kosovo also decided it wanted to become independent of Serbia. The prospect of another war breaking out in the region is truly terrifying.

The EU, however, claims that it has helped keep the peace in Europe for over half a century after the Second World War. It’s one that can be challenged, of course. It’s possible to argue that what has really kept the peace in Europe was the absolute horror all of the countries involved in the Second World War felt at the merest possibility that such a terrible war could ever break out again, and so took conscious steps to find means of avoiding it. One of which was, of course, the EU. Now I’ve said in previous posts that I don’t think it’ll be anytime soon that Albania and Macedonia will join the European Union. But if they do, and membership helps allay ethnic conflict in that part of Europe, and prevents a war, then it will have done the job it was set up to do. And this should help justify Britain’s membership. After all, if another war broke out in the Balkans, we would also be expected, as NATO members, to contribute to a peacekeeping force. And I have no doubt that, whether we were members of the EU or not, we would still be expected to do our bit by providing sanctuary to refugees from the nations involved. So we have a vested interest in supporting the EU as a way of preserving peace in Europe.

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3 Responses to “The EU and the Avoidance of Conflict between Albania and Macedonia”

  1. joanna Says:

    I realise this is way off-topic Beast, but the DWP lost my friend a job, whilst my friend was being interviewed, the DWP chose that moment to ring him and then text him right in the middle of the interview to see if he had got the job, they had told my friend to keep his phone on. My friend lost the opportunity for the first secure and permanent job in 6 years! How is that possibly helping people get jobs? He is a computer hardware and software expert.

    He has been existing on lots of short contracts and raw nerves, he has told me that he is a very thin thread away from a nervous breakdown, I am very scared for him!!

    • beastrabban Says:

      Hi Joanna – I’m sorry your friend lost his job due to the stupid attitude of the DWP, and I can well appreciate how he feels. All the time I worked, I was on short-term contracts and there is a lot of stress as you wonder if you will ever get another job after the one you have runs out. And I’m heartily sick to death of the meal-mouthed spoutings from our politicians about the need for ‘Labour fluidity’ and so on. It’s rubbish, and driving people into poverty and despair. I can remember the anger and fear, which accompanied the introduction of all this into the DSS and Tax Office, as well as the staff hired on short-term contracts when I was working for Gateways.

      The people of this country are being treated like dirt, all for the profits of big business. And they have been for nigh on forty years, ever since Thatcher.

      • joanna Says:

        Thanks Beast, though that is not the only thing that is wrong! Next year Hull is going to be “the city of culture”, yet all over the city the common grassed areas are knee high even my garden hasn’t been done, if i could do it I would but I don’t have the strength or the equipment, it was never this bad under Labour, they might have had their faults but they have compassion!! BTW I really liked Jeremy Corbyn on the Last Leg.

        I have decided that if I win any compensation I want to give it to my best friend to help him set up his own business when he thinks the time is right, at least that might make his life a little better, i’m not bothered about mine, Que Sera Sera!!

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