The future of the Balkans
By Trifun Kostovski
It may seem to us that all the topics that concern our society are exhausted, however, the deeper the topics become, the bigger the need to speak about political and social life in our country. However, today I would like to analyze some aspects of our society as part of the Balkan Peninsula, which belongs to the European continent. It is important to look at our position in the broader context and look at the development perspective. Only then can some things be given priority.
If we look at the map of Europe we will see that 3 peninsulas dominate, that is the Iberian Peninsula, where there are two countries Spain and Portugal, the Apennine Peninsula where there is one country, that is Italy, and the Balkan Peninsula where there are 10 countries.
Bearing in mind this constellation, we may wonder if this image of the Balkans guarantees the region’s prosperity? In addition to the ten Balkan states, there are three basic religions deeply established, which today dominate the European continent, and even the world, namely Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim. Not to mention that there are many branches of these dominant religious clusters, including Protestantism.
My dear readers, imagine all these countries merging into one Balkan union, what would that mean?
That would mean a perspective for the whole region, for the whole population living on this peninsula. All the inhabitants of this peninsula, historically and centuries ago, have more in common that unites us than divides us. We share roughly the same climate, identify with a similar lifestyle and diet, we have almost identical points in cultural identities and cultural history.
No borders, no already established systems, the police and customs services, government cabinets and advisers, prime ministers, will relieve the ordinary citizen of duties and allow him a faster flow of movement of people and goods.
Just as a small negative example of this fragmentation in the Balkans, I will state the following – we, citizens of Macedonia whichever destination we choose to go by the sea, we will lose more than half a day in both directions at the border crossings. And what would be the benefits of such a federation? Shared economy, development by building modern and functional infrastructure, roads, railways, airports, ports, mobility both economic and cultural and professional and tourism. Financing joint projects for the whole region in the field of energy, reviving agriculture and livestock and processing of goods into final products, strengthening the mutual cooperation of the members of that federation on the principle of the European Union.
You will surely think that with this I propose copying the European Union in the Balkans, but no my dear readers, I would just like to reflect and adjust what is nice, useful and what shows results, i.e. functionality in the European Union.
Far from the EU being an ideal political system, however, it is far more advanced than we are.
If we look a little further at the European Union’s attitude towards the Balkans, the principle of the Roman saying DIVIDE AND RULE, which is happening in the Balkans today, will not be distant. All countries in the Balkans, which are not members of the European Union, see in it salvation and perspective, not realizing the egoism that is deeply rooted in the European Union.
Non-EU countries in the Balkans today export their highly educated human resources to developed European countries, to the most demanded areas of expertise – doctors, information engineers and developers, civil engineers, architects and the like. We are only a human resources nursery for the needs of the rich European Union, and not only us, but also the rest of the Balkan countries.
This is a crime for the developing countries in the Balkans, but if I have to blame someone then I will criticize the great leaders in the Balkans who are not capable of perceiving the big picture which means the importance of the idea of a future Balkan federation. Only then we will be genuine negotiating partners with all countries in the world, including the European Union, the United States of America and the Russian Federation. Thus, divided, small with small economies and great nationalism among petty people, we cannot realize that we should soon find the way to create the Balkans as a safe and dignified place to live.
Many of you will think this is a utopia. Yes, my dear, it was utopian when Jules Verne wrote the novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and after 200 years it became a reality. I personally wouldn’t want to wait 200 years, and I hope neither would you.
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