Professor Franz-Lothar Altmann, one of the best German and European experts on Balkan issues, in an interview with the Serbian newspaper DANAS analyzes the Skopje summit of 28-29 July 2021 on the Mini Schengen initiative.
Altmann says the Mini Schengen has nothing to do with the “Berlin Process” and adds that the region’s political efforts should have focused precisely on the Berlin Regional Process Market:
“Why not work for the Common Regional Market under the umbrella of the Berlin Process instead of Mini Schengen, which was agreed in 2020?
The Common Regional Market means the realization of the same goals as the mini Schengen, but it also includes EU member states, which would lead to the establishment of a broad economic zone between the European Union and the Western Balkans, with economic ties of similar to what the EU has with Iceland and Norway.
So why are these efforts being made to “invent a new weapon for cooperation” instead of intensifying calls for the European Union to provide support to the region and why not use the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) more effectively? ) ”, – he ordered.
Regarding the information that the name “mini Schengen” will be changed in the Open Balkans, Altman says that it does not matter much.
“Maybe Vuçiiçi through this new name, or better to say the labeling, tries to pass this initiative in the economic field, but I think that this will not be useful. Vuçiçi, Rama and Zaevi have held eight meetings so far and nothing significant has happened“, Says Altmann for DANAS.