"We will not withdraw from Europe", Soros: Why the membership of the Balkans in the EU is vital

2023-08-31 21:32:59Fokus SHKRUAR NGA REDAKSIA VOX
George and Alex Soros

The president of the "Open Society" Foundation, Alex Soros, in an article for " Politico ", said that the membership of the Balkans in the European Union "is vital", in order to oppose the efforts to rekindle the conflicts in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. , after the recent tensions created in these two countries.

"EU membership is vital to ensure the unity and stability of the entire Balkan region to counter attempts to reignite the conflict in BiH and Kosovo, for example, and to give Russia a space. In addition, EU membership will strengthen European security and avoid the creation of a geopolitical vacuum", he emphasized.

Soros made these comments after the news that the foundation he leads will leave its activity in Europe.

He has denied such a thing, while admitting that this foundation will leave only some areas of work in the old continent, and that it will reduce the number of employees.

"So as the Open Society Foundations rework the way it works globally, we are shifting our priorities in Europe accordingly." Yes, this means we will step away from some areas of work as we focus on today's challenges as well as those we will face tomorrow. And yes, we will also significantly reduce the number of employees, seeking to ensure that more money goes to where it is most needed," Soros said.

But, he emphasizes, "this is not some kind of withdrawal".

Soros has announced that the Open Society Foundation will continue to provide assistance to Ukraine, Moldova and the Western Balkans, while these countries are on the path to membership in the European Union.

"We will continue to support our foundations in Moldova and the Western Balkans as those countries work towards EU accession, which — in the case of the Balkans — my father first championed in the 1990s."

The President of the "Open Society" Foundation emphasized that Europe remains of great strategic importance for the work of OSF, but that due to the current changes in Europe, its priorities are also changing and that the focus of funding is returning to East, but this does not mean withdrawal.

"Media announcements that the "Open Society" Foundation and Soros are "leaving Europe" are misleading. We are not leaving," Soros said, adding that the EU, despite its flaws, remains a "global beacon of values" that shape its work.