April 18, Prime Minister of Albania EDI Rama once said on a possible unification with Kosovo. In 2015, he called the process of forming a United Albanian state was “inevitable”. Why Albanian leadership constantly negotiate the topic of reunification with Kosovo? Will there be implemented the project of “greater Albania” in the Balkans? Whether it will be supported by the US and the EU and how will it affect prospects for the political self-determination of Karabakh, Northern Cyprus, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Crimea, Donbass and other unrecognized territories?
The causes of such statements is obvious. Albania is one of the poorest and most criminalized countries of Europe. In 2014, the Tyrant received the status of candidate for full membership in the EU and its citizens the right of visa-free entry to Schengen countries for up to 60 days for tourism purposes. However, since no progress in relations has not happened, and the perpetrators of this can be called by both sides.
With 2014 in the EU takes place in parallel several processes that negatively affect its extension in the direction of Albania. First, it is a crisis of the EU and the rapid expansion of space of euroscepticism as a political phenomenon. In the developed countries of Europe the majority of the population believes that the EU has reached its limits and connect a new States there is no need. In Britain so far won the most radical point of view, and currently this country prepares its final withdrawal from the EU. The EU as an idea and the real political and economic structure is undergoing the most serious crisis since its creation, and joining a new weak in all respects members right now are planned to overcome it.
Second, the eurosceptics have become quite popular right and Islamophobic ideas. Albania formally, the majority of the population is Muslim, although, perhaps, more secular people than the Albanians, it is difficult to find. Opponents of the accession of Albania in the European Parliament to frighten his colleagues the terrible Albanian Islamists, and these phobias are easy to find in Europe its audience.
By the way, funds from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait pay per month to $ 400 each Albanian family, which leads the Muslim way of life. Wishing in a poor country, not much is a small Ottoman mosque in the centre of Tirana is almost always empty on the streets women wearing the hijab is very little, but at each corner of bottled beer.
However, opponents of the accession of Albania to the European Union also has its own truth. In addition to the understandable and to overcome economic backwardness and irrational fear of Islam there are objective reasons for the reluctance of Europeans to see Albania in its ranks. However, in a tolerant Europe they are not accepted to speak openly.Albania after the collapse of the Communist system pretty soon turned into a Balkan center of smuggling, trafficking, drugs, stolen cars, Antiques, and human organs. Huge arsenals remaining in the Republic since the days of the leader Enver Hoxha, attracted the attention of illegal traders of weapons from around the world, as reflected even in American films. Famous in Germany and Austria the “Balkan mafia” is primarily ethnic Albanians from Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania.
In the last two decades in this field is particularly famous for the Kosovo Albanians. The Kosovo liberation army needed money to conduct the struggle for its independence from Yugoslavia, and they did not hesitate in the 1990s, any types of business. However, the present prosperity of Kosovo came after the discovery there of the largest on the Balkans the American military base “Bondsteel” in 1999 and turning it into a staging post for the war in Afghanistan. The base occupies an area of 4 sq km, which is more than a third of the country. It is widely known that after the beginning of the campaign, the production of heroin in Afghanistan has increased more than 40 times, and the main source of drug supply to the EU was precisely Kosovo.
According to the UN Agency for the fight against organized crime, the heroin trade involved in almost all power structures of Kosovo. Moreover, the spread involved not only the smugglers but also the diplomats that are sent to recognize the independence of Kosovo state. Formally, a search themselves, baggage and vehicles is prohibited by the Vienna Convention, and what are the criminals. However, it is possible it is not always — in 2009, the Turkish border guards with dogs randomly found in the car Albanian diplomat 65 kg of heroin worth almost 1 million euros.
Supporters of EU enlargement hope that little Albania can be quite fast to digest and arrange it in order according to European laws. However, the voices of the enemies sounded clearly louder, especially that coming from Albania news can not disturb. For example, a real problem in 2016 was opening the widest choice of networks for growing in Albania and dissemination in the EU of marijuana, which pretty unsuccessfully fighting the Albanian police. Albanian sailors from the port of Durres has created and implemented a scheme for the transfer to Europe (mainly to Italy) refugees from Libya. And what about the information about the presence in Kosovo of Europe’s largest black market human organs! Of course, fewer French, Italians and Germans want EU accession of that state.
As an asymmetric response to euroscepticism in relation to Albania, the leadership is constantly threatening the European Union with Kosovo. The idea of the Albanian Prime Minister, EDI Rama — the unification of Albania and Kosovo, which must happen anyway or the two countries will join the EU, or implement their own pan-Albanian project. Neighboring countries with Albanian minority in Greece, Macedonia, Hungary — rightly fear a repetition of the fate of neighboring Serbia. They did not recognize the independence of Kosovo and do everything possible to prevent national self-determination of the Albanians in their countries. In Macedonia this almost led to a national catastrophe — populated by Albanians in the Tetovo area constantly demands special rights, and the army clashes with separatists were not uncommon.
In fact, the unification of the cultural plan has already taken place. Albanians don’t have any problems traveling between Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia. The Kosovo liberation army took an active part in the fighting against the Macedonian army in 2001. Near Tetovo, there is a cemetery where are buried the Kosovar volunteers. The Kosovars are actively investing in Albanian port and resort Durres: if you see a really beautiful house — be sure its owners are natives of Kosovo.
If the unification of Albania and Kosovo will take place, for international law will become a very unpleasant incident. In fact, it will be a repetition of the history of the Crimea — one state seized territory from another. If the Union is recognized by the EU and the US, justice will have to recognize Crimea as part of Russia, and to Northern Cyprus — to join Turkey in the same pattern. However, opponents of Association in this case is much more than supporters.
It is because of the reluctance to deal with the diplomatic mishaps of the pan-Albanian integration will never support neither Europe nor the United States. For Europe it is much more important to maintain good relations with the permanent EU members Hungary and Greece than to promote a potential separatism. The United States is fully satisfied with the existing version — a huge military base with a total area of 4 sq km on completely dependent on Washington territory.
However, the main opponents of the Union are not foreign powers. Please note, the call EDI Rama did not respond Kosovo Albanians! They feel great under the American wing and absolutely not going to share with their brothers the income from many illegal enterprises. They are quite satisfied with the opportunity to buy in Albania expensive real estate on the coast, to marry a beautiful and humble girls and invest sometimes in different and semi-related to the sea projects because of its sea from the Kosovars are not.