Europe’s neighborly deliverance of values

Hope is not a strategy, as military brass often say, which may best describe the European Union’s new attitude toward its neighbors in the southeast corner of the Continent. At a summit Tuesday with leaders of Western Balkan countries, the EU did more than again dangle a promise of eventual membership in the world’s wealthiest bloc.

Stirred into action by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU has now shifted from being mainly an attractive beacon of soft-power idealism to one of practical embrace of six wannabe members in the Balkans: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.

Or as the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, tweeted, “Regional cooperation cannot be detached from our common values.”

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