Amid Brexit and other crises, the EU is trying to woo Balkan nations like Serbia and Albania to join as a way of improving the region's stability.
As Russia, the EU and China eye the Western Balkans, it may be that the old colonial power, Turkey, is best placed to play a key role in the region. And this perhaps because of, not despite, its economic problems.
No EU migration plan can succeed without the Western Balkans, says Michael Roth, Germany's deputy minister for European affairs. He told DW it would top the agenda in talks with the six countries seeking to join.
In June 2003 in Thessaloniki, the EU promised that all Western Balkan countries could one day become member states. It is important to be consistent and do the right thing by keeping this promise, Krsto Lazarevic writes.
Tensions in the Western Balkans can only be overcome if all countries in the region join the European Union, says enlargement chief Johannes Hahn. The EU's door should remain open for Turkey, he told DW.
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