Foreign affairs editor for Chronicles magazine, Srdja Trifkovic, predicts that following Croatia's accession to the European Union (EU) last month there will be "no further enlargement for many years to come."

WASHINGTON, Aug. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by the US-Ukraine Observer:

Foreign affairs editor for Chronicles magazine, Srdja Trifkovic, predicts that following Croatia's accession to the European Union (EU) last month there will be "no further enlargement for many years to come." "A look at the glaring dysfunctions in Croatia's accession, compared to the double standards Brussels imposes on Serbia and Ukraine," observes Trifkovic, "is indicative of the peculiar mitteleuropaisch view of what constitutes 'Europe' which still dominates the political and media elite thinking in Berlin and Vienna."

"Brussels' lack of straight dealing is equally glaring in the case of Ukraine," notes Trifkovic, "which is not even being offered the prospect of EU membership anytime soon. Kiev has been struggling since 2007 to obtain the more limited Association Agreement with the EU. At the 15th Ukraine-EU Summit in December 2011, the EU leaders and President Yanukovych announced that they had reached 'a common understanding on the text of the Association Agreement,' and in March 2012 the chief negotiators of the European Union and Ukraine initialed the text of the Agreement. EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule announced at that time that the Agreement could be finally signed after the Ukrainian general election in October 2012. It did not happen. Additional demands and conditions keep emerging instead."

"Topping the list is the case of Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister, who is serving a seven-year jail sentence for corruption and is facing murder charges for the 1996 killing of a political opponent. Even though the case against the richest woman in Ukraine seems strong, Brussels has taken the position that it was politically motivated. The EU has also criticized Ukrainian authorities for failing to conduct last October's parliamentary elections 'in line with international democratic standards.'  With Germany again the lead skeptical voice on the EU side, the question of whether the Association Agreement will be signed at the Vilnius summit this November remains uncertain. If it is not signed, it will not be for lack of trying from the Ukrainian side."

Trifkovic sees some unsavory historical associations at work in the EU's disparate treatment of aspirant EU members: "Unequal treatment of different countries by the EU's old core—and above all by Germany—reflects some old prejudices and cultural preferences which will not go away. Of course, no German politician will ever admit that his or her judgment is impacted by the fact that the Croats were German allies in both world wars, while the Serbs or Ukrainians were not."

Srdja Trifkovic is an international affairs writer and foreign affairs editor for Chronicles.

Chronicles: "No Further E.U. Enlargement After Croatia, Rest of Balkans, Ukraine Left Hanging"

SOURCE U.S.-Ukraine Observer

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