UK Referendum Could Hurt the Balkans

The Potential Brexit is Likely to Have Negative Effects for the Balkans

June 22nd, 2016

The UK decision, besides having effects on the British economy and Europe as a whole, could also negatively impact the 6 countries currently waiting to enter the European bloc.

Great Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron announces a historical disaster if citizens decide to vote to crash out of the Europe on 23rd June 2016. Since the first European Union was formed in the 1960s with the European Economic Community, no nation has ever left it. United Kingdom joined the Union in 1973

The result of the vote would be binding, not only advisory. Thus, Cameron warns about dramatic consequences should UK leave the Union, like the fall in house prices, slump in the pound, trade war with Europe and massive rise in unemployment. Moreover, UK would not be the only country suffering from such a defection.

Actually, there is no doubt that the UK’s departure would be a tremendous news for those Balkan nations currently waiting to enter the bloc. Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo are all in different stages of the queue outside the Brussels office, all eager to join the EU as soon as possible.

If British voters decide to leave Europe, one probable result will be that all EU’s energies will be dedicated to the UK and their future trading relations. According to economic experts this process would take at least the next two years, paralyzing every other major European integrating progress. Moreover, diplomatic visits by important EU leaders to the Balkans could become rarer or less significant.

The potential exit of UK from the European Union would also very likely generate hostility towards the enlargement of the Union among the remaining EU member states. Some of these countries, especially in the richer west, would be very reluctant to see Britain’s vacant place occupied by a stack of Balkan states, which do not have the same economic and diplomatic strength of their predecessor.

Therefore, countries hoping to enter the EU in the next few years could therefore find their applications effectively parked for a decade, while the EU tries to sort itself out.


Cultural Diplomacy News
Valentina De Gregorio, CD News