The idea that the EU is going to speed up the accession process in the Balkans to prevent states from collapsing or fighting each other is a complete fantasy.
As the Balkans relapses into its old familiar condition of petty states wrangling and threatening each other, the old familiar cry is also going up: Europe is to blame!
Why? Because, according to the purveyors of this thesis, the lack of a European “perspective” – i.e. the prospect of rapid EU membership – has undermined modern-minded, cooperative democrats and has encouraged nationalist firebrands and secessionists all over the region.
In other words, if Europe would just hurry up and fast-track Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, etc., into the EU, and never mind the small print, the disagreeable, dangerous demagogues would all fall silent and the region would resume the more-or-less happy course it seemed to be taking a few years ago.
There may be some substance to this claim – bribes do often work – but it is not going to happen and it is time those marketing this fantasy accepted that it is just that – a fantasy.