Turkey is returning to the Balkan countries to strengthen its economic and political presence in the region at the expense of the European Union, political analyst Nikola Mikovic believes.
Due to the slow pace of EU enlargement, countries in the region that have spent years in the bloc's waiting room are looking for alternatives, and this has opened the door for the emergence of other power brokers such as Turkey, Mikovic writes in an analysis for Arab Weekly.
Last week, European leaders called their decision to grant candidate membership status to Ukraine and Moldova a historic moment. It remains unsaid how much time may pass before the final moment arrives.
Other EU candidate states languished for years, even decades, in the EU's eternal waiting room.This not only raised doubts about the attractiveness of the EU for the countries of Eastern Europe, but also opened the door for the emergence of other regional influencers.
Consider Turkey's role in the Western Balkans.