Brexit Facts4EU.Org reports on the EU’s plans to integrate the Balkan states into the EU, including an extraordinary statement by President Tusk that unsurprisingly was not reported by the mainstream UK media. This article was originally published on the Brexit Facts4EU.Org website and is reproduced with kind permission.
On Tuesday last week, President Donald Tusk of the EU Council – the EU’s highest decision-making body – visited the capital of Albania and made the following extraordinary announcement:
“There will be no stable and safe Europe without the integration of all the Balkans in the EU.”
This follows a previous statement by the EU’s de facto Foreign and Defence Secretary:
“The big loser of the game that currently is being played will be the UK.”
“When we talk about the future of the EU, we have to take into consideration that countries especially in the Western Balkans will eventually become members of the European Union so we will be more than 27. The power of attraction of the EU is still extremely strong.”
– Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of EU Commission
When the EU’s intentions come to pass, the EU will lose one country, add six, and lose $2.72 TRILLION dollars of GDP per year:
- Economy of the Balkans: $111.8 billion for all six countries COMBINED
- Economy of the UK: $2,828.6 billion – 25 times as large
- Population of the Balkans: 17.7 million
- Population of the UK: 67.5 million
There are six Western Balkans countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo (still not recognised by the UN and many countries around the world), Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. Very broadly speaking, they are situated north of Greece and south of Croatia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. They ‘fill in a gap’ in the map of EU member states.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org thought readers might like to compare the economies of these six Balkans countries against the economy of the departing United Kingdom.
© Brexit Facts4EU.Org – click to enlarge
This is not ‘fake news’, it comes from the EU itself. The EU has been planning the accession of the six Balkans countries into the EU for over 15 years. The EU already has Stabilisation and Association Agreements (SAAs) in force with them all. Four of the countries are official candidates for EU membership: Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Albania. It was in Tirana, capital of Albania, that EU Council President Donald Tusk was speaking last week. The other two Western Balkans countries have been promised the prospect of joining when they are ready.
Since the UK’s vote to leave the EU, this process has been accelerated:
“We’re having some very difficult negotiations in Europe on Brexit, and this really is an opportunity for us to bring the Western Balkan peninsular on board as the UK withdraws from the EU.”
“On the 17th of May  the European Council will be meeting. It’s going to be 27 plus 6 – the leaders of the Balkans will be there, meeting the leaders of the EU.”
– Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, then holding the rotating EU Presidency
Donald Tusk’s speech in Albania last week went unreported in the UK, as with so many news items which might portray the prospect of remaining in the EU in a bad light.
This is a very difficult region in many ways, torn apart following the break-up of Yugoslavia, and the scene of foreign policy and military disasters for the EU. Given the geographical proximity it is still felt by many that the EU’s actions (and inactions) did not constitute its finest hours.
Readers will no doubt wish the six Western Balkans countries well in their gradual development following some difficult decades. Crime and corruption is still endemic and it is hoped that this will improve eventually. The UK of course has been a significant global player in the region and still is, although we look forward to the day when the British Foreign Office is not hidebound by the foreign policies of the EU and can act with complete independence.
A great deal of UK Aid has of course been sent to the region over the years. Some of this aid has been ‘badged’ as EU Aid, but this will change once the UK has left the EU. In due course recipients of British donations will realise just how generous the UK is.
In the meantime, we wish the EU well as they try to sell the idea of six poor countries joining the EU to the taxpayers, in order to replace the fifth-largest economy in the world.
GDP figures come from the World Bank and the population figures come from the UN from July this year.