Brexit Important for the Balkans

By , 14 Feb 2018, 15:42 PM News
Brexit Important for the Balkans British Slovenian Chamber of Commerce's Facebook page

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 "What's good for the German and French economies is usually good for the Slovenian economy." 

STA, February 14, 2018 – Brexit is not expected to affect Slovenia's business ties with the United Kingdom significantly. However, the UK's exit from the EU is important for the Balkan region, Blaž Brodnjak, the chairman of NLB bank, told an event of the British-Slovenian Chamber of Commerce in Ljubljana on Wednesday.

"We did not discuss borders and limitations for some time, we mostly discussed cooperation. Now, borders are again coming at the forefront," Brodnjak said as he likened Brexit to the disintegration of Yugoslavia.

Touching on the importance of the EU expanding to the Western Balkans for the region's stability, Brodnjak expressed hope that Brexit would increase the awareness of the importance of cohesion and integration and would not halt the bloc's expansion.

The bloc can keep its role as an important player in the global market if its members remain united. To remain a cohesive unit, the EU will have to make the rules even stricter, Brodnjak also stressed.

Brexit also raises the question of future balance of powers in the bloc following the exit of an important player.

David Brozina, the general director of EU affairs at the Foreign Ministry, believes that the UK's position will be taken over by Germany and France, which will take the EU in the direction they want.

"But what's good for the German and French economies is usually also good for the Slovenian economy," he said.

British politician Jeremy Browne, who represents London City's interests in the EU, meanwhile said that Brexit talks were in a "somewhat unusual phase", because the positions of EU member states on how to continue collaboration with the UK were divergent.

In the first phase, the 27 members of the EU had the common goal of getting as much from the UK as possible, but now the wishes have become more diverse.

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