Dr. Ioannis Armakolas, Assistant Professor at the Department of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies, University of Macedonia and Head of the South-East Europe Programme – ELIAMEP, was interviewed by Noni Karagianni on the radio show “Αθήνα Σήμερα (Athina 9.84).

On the occasion of the meeting of Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias with his European counterparts regarding the enlargement of the EU in the Western Balkans, Dr. Armakolas talked about the latest developments in the Western Balkans after the French veto and the “freeze” of the negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania. 

“Prime Minister Mitsotakis, in his Financial Times’ interview, made a very important argument that has not been heard in the past particularly by Greek politicians and is a very good, very useful argument that the Greek diplomacy could use more. He said that may Greece was not ready when it joined the EEC, but with great generosity the Western countries and Paris thought geopolitically in the case of Greece. Greece should not be left out of Europe at a time when it was trying to stabilize its democracy and through accession it had to be helped to follow the path of growth and democratization. This is a very useful argument, said Dr. Armakolas among other things. 

Dr. Armakolas also argued that “the gradual integration of the Western Balkans in Europe means that these states would enter an environment of security, development and resolving issues with their neighbors in a co-operative sense and go beyond the sphere of geopolitical conflict in which Russia, China and Turkey are involved. Why shouldn’t we want all these states to step out of the sphere of influence of Turkey, Russia and China and be within the EU, so we can work closely together to resolve our differences?. 

You can listen to the whole interview in Greek here: https://bit.ly/36rKa7R