Official ideology in Ukraine today: Everything Soviet was terrible and Ukraine would have flourished under Hitler.
Balkan states are desperate for the money guaranteed by joining the EU. The EU has promised to give membership to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, and Montenegro by 2025, but there will be no extra EU funds available for the countries in the meantime.
The European Union is and will remain the most reliable partner of the entire Western Balkans. “The integration with the Western Balkans is a top priority for the EU and I don’t see any other future for the Western Balkans than the EU”, President of the European Council Donald Tusk said most recently, following the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia. “There is no alternative, there is no plan B. The Western Balkans are an integral part of Europe and they belong to our community”. The Summit reconfirmed the EU's determination to strengthen its engagement at all levels to support the region’s political, economic and social transformation, including through increased assistance based on tangible progress in the rule of law as well as in socio-economic reforms. To support the implementation of the Sofia Declaration and drawing on the Commission's Western Balkans Strategy and its six flagship initiatives, the European Commission announced a new package of measures to boost connectivity within the region and with the EU. The EU will provide grants for additional 11 high-priority transport projects (road, rail, ports) worth €190 million. This investment can leverage up to €1 billion in loans from international financing institutions. This includes funding for the first two sections of the ‘Peace Highway' (Nis-Pristina-Durres) and the ‘Blue Highway' along the Adriatic coast. In order to develop the new Digital Agenda for the Western Balkans, the EU has earmarked €30 million for investments in broadband rollouts across the region. Moreover, the EU will support the region's energy transition through promoting renewable energy sources, including a sustainable use of hydropower. The Commission will increase its support for youth and education, in particular by doubling the funding for Erasmus+ for the region. Separately, the Commission proposed for the next Multiannual Financial Framework for the period 2021-2027 an increase of funds for the Western Balkans in support of reforms in view of the EU membership. This would amount to 1.84 billion Euro which is 1.2 times superior to the previous budget period. Already now the EU is the biggest investor, the biggest donor and the biggest trading partner for the Western Balkans. Trade with the EU represents 72.8% of the total trade flows of the region. More than 60% of Serbia's trade is with the EU, and more than 60% of foreign direct investment in Serbia comes from the EU. EU companies are the biggest investors in the Western Balkans; they invested over €10 billion in the past five years.