If you love Malta and the way this country deals with corruption and unwanted journalists, then you will adore Macedonia or Albania in the European Union …
Transparency International, an organization founded in 1993, publishes annually its “Corruption Perceptions Index“, an indicator of the state of corruption by country. Corruption can be defined as the hidden illegal activities that break out when scandals, lawsuits or investigations occur. It is of course very difficult to measure a true level of corruption, which is hidden by nature. This is why Transparency uses the term “perception”. It is in fact the objective view that one can have on a country as to its internal corruption.
In the last opus of the Index, Malta is 46th, Albania 91st, Macedonia 107th … 38 places lost in one year for the latter country.
But it does not matter, in Strasbourg last Tuesday, the European Commission proposed that the Council (representing the Member States) open the accession negotiations with Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
“The decision is based on an assessment of progress made by these two countries on the recommendations made in 2016 and a review of the measures implemented by Tirana and Skopje,” Mogherini said.
At a press briefing in Tirana, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama welcomed a decision acknowledging reform efforts, particularly in the fight against organized crime and corruption. This recommendation, he stressed, “does not mark the end of the battles but the entry into a new phase even more difficult”.
In Skopje, his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev said his government was witnessing “the confidence to move the country along the Euro-Atlantic path” (the usual term used by newcomers to recall that beyond the European Union project, they also buy a ticket to NATO). Zaev reiterated that he wanted to “settle as soon as possible” the conflict over Macedonia’s name with Greece.
I’m not sure I always understand what strange planet our European civil servants live on. An excessive reading of Tintin, the local hero ?
I am confident that the Member States will be able to make reason heard by an Institution which seems to try to express there the zero degree of political analysis. A European summit with the countries of the Western Balkans is scheduled for May 17th in Sofia.
According to the Treaties, the Commission is “on the initiative”. Is is too much to ask that before taking a decision, it asks itself a very simple question: “Does what I propose promote the progression of Europhobia within European Union ? “
It’s a simple question yet …
Iconography: Cover of the color version of Hergé’s album “The Scepter of Ottokar”, prepublished in black and white from August 4, 1938 to August 10, 1939 in Le Petit Vingtième.