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29 Jun, 36 tweets, 22 min read
We're LIVE! 🔴

Join us on #Zoom for "Shaking EU Solidarity in the Western Balkans" with @donikaemini, @alrakaj, and Irena Pandeva to learn more about #Kosovo, #Albania, and #NorthMacedonia

How has #COVID19 impacted EU solidarity?

Highlights below 💪

"When we were writing this book, we didn't know how #COVID19 would stand as a test of #EUsolidarity"

- @JohannesPollak, co-editor of the "Future of Europe: Views from the Capitals" series introduces our event

This event is indeed based on our upcoming third edition of the series: "Solidarity in Action and the Future of Europe: Views from the Capitals", co-edited by moderator @JohannesPollak along with @MichaelKaeding and @_PaulSchmidt

LEARN MORE ➡️ tepsa.eu/tepsa-books/

"It remains to be seen how much the EU finally starts thinking about connecting to its citizens"

- @JohannesPollak calls for a better way to communicate between the EU and the people of Europe

"We have the #COVIDrecovery package which can kick-start a new European economy after #COVID19, but we also have a failing effort to kick-start faith in the EU again"

- @JohannesPollak from @WebsterVienna

After this introduction, we turn to @donikaemini from @CiviKosPlatform to speak about the role of #Kosovo in EU solidarity, and vice versa

"We are dealing with the biggest crisis, and the need to ensure vaccination. This is where geopolitics comes in: PPE, tests, now vaccines"

- @donikaemini from @CiviKosPlatform

"Going back to 2020, we got the feeling of having closed borders, of not being sure if we would have enough food. The EU did an immense job to ensure the #GreenCoridoor remained open"

- @donikaemini from @CiviKosPlatform

"In #Kosovo, the EU was quite fast to respond to crisis. It was one of the first to invest in medical equipment and tests, a much better response than even the US"

- @donikaemini from @CiviKosPlatform

"Governments failed to deliver when it comes to #COVID19. For a citizen of Kosovo, with the devastated economy and health service, this is unacceptable: the government was overthrown within the first 10 days of the pandemic"

- @donikaemini from @CiviKosPlatform

"It took us nearly 6 months to have behavioural regulations in the pandemic, and the first recovery packages were symbolic and immediately cut when a new government came in"

- @donikaemini from @CiviKosPlatform

"Crisis management in Kosovo was a waterfall system: we were either lucky, or unlucky"

- @donikaemini from @CiviKosPlatform

"We still don't know the exact number of cases, of deaths. And now less than 1% of the population is vaccinated. Only yesterday did the government actually purchase vaccines for the first time"

- @donikaemini from @CiviKosPlatform

We now turn from #Kosovo to #Albania, with a contribution from @alrakaj from the Institute for Political Studies

"#COVID19 exacerbated the existing issues in Albania at the governance level"

- @alrakaj from the Institute for Political Studies

"Albania, as a small country surrounded by EU Member States, and strongly depending on relations with the EU, #COVID19 was a moment of realisation of how important this EU-Albania relationship is"

- @alrakaj from the Institute for Political Studies

"#COVIDdiplomacy from Turkey being blocked at the border allowed the government to criticise the EU as not showing enough solidarity with Albania"

- @alrakaj from the Institute for Political Studies

"However, Brussels' unwavering solidarity across the years has also shown that the EU will always be there for the EU, especially in light of the beginning of the #accession process in March 2020"

- @alrakaj from the Institute for Political Studies

"Albania has also become increasingly reliant on support from the EU, which could generate unrealistic expectations that the EU will continue to contribute to the country's local affairs"

- @alrakaj from the Institute for Political Studies

"In spite of the hiccups, the hurdles faced, the increased criticism by the governments, Albanians continue to look very favourably on the EU"

- @alrakaj from the Institute for Political Studies

We now turn from #Kosovo and #Albania to #NorthMacedonia, another #accession candidate, and Irena Pandeva from @UKIMedumk

"We must emphasis that we have found ourselves in a not much different situation than we were a year ago: the state of progress in the #NorthMacedonian file of the EU is one of stalemate"

- Irena Pandeva from @UKIMedumk

"#NorthMacedonia has been moving towards accession for 17 years. By the end of 2020, Bulgaria vetoed the decision to move forward with accession talks"

- Irena Pandeva from @UKIMedumk

"There is a sense that EU policy towards #NorthMacedonia and the region more widely is unfair, especially in light of the success of our progress towards #accession"

- Irena Pandeva from @UKIMedumk

"There is a perception that the #COVID19 response from the EU was not enough. This is due to the broader context of accession fatigue, to the EU's propensity to compromise"

- Irena Pandeva from @UKIMedumk

"North Macedonia has continued to work towards preparedness for accession talks, but lack of progress has produced an increase in Euroscepticism in the country over time. The question now is: how do we counter the effect of this delay?"

- Irena Pandeva from @UKIMedumk

"Accession deadlock is overwhelming the domestic discourse in North Macedonia. The country has done all that is required, and in some areas even more than that"

- Irena Pandeva from @UKIMedumk

"The EU response came as early as April 2020. In addition to the EU, assistance and support came also from individual Member States, NATO allies, and also other countries"

- Irena Pandeva from @UKIMedumk

"The lack of support from the EU is most visible in the supply of #vaccines, and Serbia and China have filled this vacuum"

- Irena Pandeva from @UKIMedumk

"To this date, the EU remains the biggest contributor in terms of democratic reform and #COVIDrecovery"

- Irena Pandeva from @UKIMedumk

"We find that solidarity is not just financial or medical support, but maintaining the perception of joint values and prospects. The EU needs to work on the latter"

- Irena Pandeva from @UKIMedumk

After these initial contributions from our speakers, we now turn to the audience for a Q&A session 👉 this is YOUR chance to ask our great panellists all you want to know about EU Solidarity in #Kosovo, #Albania, and #NorthMacedonia 💪

After enjoying a fantastic and vibrant Q&A session, @JohannesPollak, our moderator for this event, gives his closing remarks and closes the event

And if you want to catch up on today's discussion, be sure to go over to our @YouTube channel where we'll be uploading the full event recording!!

And while you're there, be sure to subscribe and ring the bell so you never miss our great EU content


Finally, thanks to our panellists: @JohannesPollak (@WebsterVienna), @donikaemini (@CiviKosPlatform), @alrakaj (Institute for Political Studies), and Irena Pandeva (@UKIMedumk)

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