While the ‘expert’ ruling class of Europe celebrates the inauguration of President Joe Biden and a return to ‘normalcy,’ the people of the Balkans lament the Trump Administration’s departure. The re-empowerment of Washington’s globalist foreign policy elites under Biden spells a return to the status quo: ineffective diplomacy and slow-walking by Brussels.
Serbians, Albanians, and others in the region all know that the European model means progress in the region will grind to a halt. One needs look no further than the past twelve years since Kosovo gained independence from Serbia to realize that the European community has not been the solution in the Western Balkans. The EU has given Balkan nations minimal and sporadic funding in an effort to appease and silence them.
With assistance from the Bush 43 Administration, Kosovo gained independence from Serbia in 2008 after a bloody civil war. Barack Obama and now-President Biden then had eight years to work with the EU to lead negotiations.
And yet, neither the EU nor its US counterparts made any substantial progress whatsoever under the Obama administration. While Obama and Biden operated within the EU’s framework, Trump brought the ‘art of the deal’ to Kosovo and Serbia, making up for the previous administration’s shortcomings.
Miroslav Lajcak, the EU’s special representative for Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, was one of the most vocal critics of the Trump Administration’s efforts in the region. Lacjak recently lauded the inevitable return to the old order under Biden, noting that the course of diplomacy under Trump and his special envoy Ambassador Richard Grenell ran a dangerous parallel to Europe’s track.
Last fall, Ambassador Grenell led negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo, at last resulting in a historic economic normalization agreement. Both nations agreed to 16 measures including a joint transportation venture that would create massive job growth. Grenell’s important work over the course of just a few months laid the inroads for economic prosperity and cooperation between the two for decades to come.
While Lajcak and others in the EU felt slighted by Grenell and President Trump, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci made it crystal clear whose diplomacy he and the people of the region preferred: ‘Kosovo has always trusted the U.S. and has come out victorious.’ Despite Europe’s hard work to jeopardize the efforts and install its puppet Albin Kurti, America prevailed, and the people of the Balkans reaped the benefits.
So what is Lacjak, a glorified paper-pusher’s real grievance with the Trump Administration’s effective actions in the Balkans? It put his own job at risk by cutting through red tape in Brussels.
Furthermore, Lacjak hails from Slovakia — one of the states that still does not recognize Kosovo’s independence. His attempts to undermine Grenell’s agreement raise a deeper question: Why would the EU appoint a representative whose nation’s official stance is non-recognition of one party?
Unfortunately, this choice in personnel is exemplary of Europe’s larger attitude toward Kosovo, Serbia, and neighboring states. EU overlords have long treated Balkan nations like the black sheep of the continent, while allowing others with just as much debt and corruption, i.e. Greece and Italy, to retain membership and receive aid. Though Balkan states are equally rich in culture and resources, they have been overlooked by Europe for years. Their treatment and denigration is the equivalent of a school district continuing to fail a struggling student without offering proper resources for success.
Brussels has not only marginalized citizens of the Balkans for decades, but has also played games to keep the nations at its disposal while never following through on promises. My native country of Albania has been denied memberships after official charges of ‘corruption.’ But instead of launching an investigation and working with the Albanian people, the EU’s unwillingness to bring our people in has only emboldened corrupt leaders in Tirana and hurt innocent civilians.
By abandoning the Balkan region in its time of need, Europe created a power vacuum, which has been filled by none other than Biden buddy George Soros.
As I noted previously, the Balkans have been the cradle of Soros’ globalist plot since he rose to prominence. He has exploited weak, corruption-prone nations for his own benefit, playing kingmaker and continuing to wield tremendous influence in the policy and financial arenas. His Open Society Foundation swept in in 1991, as then-Yugoslavia was disintegrating, and his sinister network has held significant entrenched positions in Serbia, Kosovo, and Albania ever since.
Instead of working toward peace and prosperity in the Balkans while in power, Obama and Biden funneled taxpayer funds through the Department of State to Soros’ NGOs, allowing him to infiltrate and undermine Albania’s judicial system and prop up the same government to which the EU objected on the grounds of ‘corruption.’
One cannot help but wonder whether the EU and friends in the Biden Administration and US foreign policy expert class, which work hand-in-glove with Soros, have any ulterior motives for wanting to keep the Balkans weak.
Under the Trump Administration, Kosovo, Serbia and others in the region finally gained the respect of a global power. Grenell and President Trump gave the nations a seat at the table and treated them as reliable, rational partners. In turn, both nations rose to the task.
Unfortunately, Joe Biden and State Department swamp creatures will likely stymie any additional progress by allowing the EU to ‘lead’ further diplomatic efforts. While Albanian-Americans and other Balkan immigrants wish the new administration the best, our experience from the last time Biden was in the White House leaves us with little confidence for much progress in the years ahead.
But, given the level of admiration Biden elicits out from EU head Angela Merkel, we can only hope that he will compel the European community to hold up its end of the bargain with the Balkans. Since 2011, Chancellor Merkel has repeatedly said Kosovo and Serbia’s ‘path to membership’ is through the normalization of relations. Now, with an agreement in place thanks largely to the Trump Administration, there is no excuse not to grant Kosovo and Serbia their membership by 2025.
If not, the US must put the EU on the spot and demand to know: what is the real agenda behind keeping the Balkans out?