Hungary's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peter Szijjarto arrives for the Informal Meeting of EU Foreign Affairs ministers (Gymnich) in Sofia, Bulgaria on February 15, 2018. / AFP / NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV
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European Union foreign ministers disagreed Thursday over a proposal by the bloc's executive to push for expansion into the Western Balkans, a region still scarred by ethnic wars fought in the 1990s and dogged by a reputation for lawlessness.Serbia's refusal to recognize the independence of its former province Kosovo -- something endorsed by most, though not all, EU states -- is just one example of intractable regional disputes that threaten the Western Balkans' Western integration.EU diplomats say that corruption and powerful criminal gangs that smuggle arms, drugs and migrants over European borders top a long list of problems the six Balkan hopefuls would have to crack down on if they are ever to be allowed into the EU.
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