Today, more than ever in our recent history, unwavering determination and commitment is required to condemn politicians who sow discord and call for war in the region.
Positive news was also absent in 2022: Russian aggression in Ukraine, with disorienting news from all sides, is rightly considered the main topic of the year; The Kosovo-Serbia dialogue continued with a rhetoric that resembles the last century, and the lack of a reforming language makes the theory that the Balkans encounters obstacles of its own making plausible.
The European Union, built on the principles of freedom, liberal democracy, was faced and challenged by skeptical right-wing forces who, among other things, believe that the countries of the Western Balkans, not seeing the whole, deal with details that prevent them from properly understanding the factors that build the European Union. As a result of these events, the EU seems to have stopped at a crossroads that lacks instructions, signs in which direction to move.
Inflation ruined the socio-economic situation in almost every country of the globe, including Kosovo. International trade is unable to pick up where it was before the pandemic and before the Russian aggression in Ukraine, making the supply chain of goods, people and energy heavily affected by enormous price increases. The question is what will the future look like and how can we create understanding relationships with others in these times of crisis?!
These topics make the future challenging because they increase uncertainty in society. As an individual, we can influence the family and society about what kind of future we should work for and search for. The questions to be asked are: Why hate when we can respect? Why does evil take place faster than good? What can I do as an individual so that warmongering, hatred, non-cooperation become irrelevant topics in our societies. It is everyone’s mission to understand and follow the right path to lead to progress, to raise and live the universal values and principles of humanity that make our countries pleasant and desirable for us and for generations to come.
The relaunch of the Berlin Process came at the right time. The summit in Berlin was followed by numerous meetings organized with goals and efforts to achieve a progressive vision, with an agenda and concrete cooperative actions in the field of economic integration, prosperity and sustainable peace. It is very important to help this process by contributing to discussions that promote the efforts so far as well as other initiatives aimed at changing policies and decisions in the circles that are responsible for the integration of the region in the EU.
In these times when the future of humanity is seriously being threatened, the peoples and governments of the countries of the Western Balkans cannot maintain a neutral position, nor sit idly by as spectators. Today, more than ever in our recent history, unwavering determination and commitment is required to condemn politicians who sow discord and call for war in the region. Unity, solidarity and cooperation are required to protect and advance the values and aspirations of the peoples of the Western Balkans.
Moreover, we must not forget that our planet is also being threatened by countries’ inaction against the realization of protection policies and the achievement of the goals set in the EU Green Agreement and the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans. The protection of the environment and the planet knows no geographical boundaries, nations and religious beliefs, therefore it should be seen as an opportunity that brings societies closer to work together towards a future that offers perspective and economic development.
Gazmend Berlajolli, Project Manager, Western Balkans, The Balkan Forum