Opinion
Balkan signals

by Giorgos Kapopoulos

(“Kathimerini”, 22 November, 2001)

...The compliance of Bulgaria and Romania with the preconditions for EU and NATO accession have so far prevented the development of movements which are at odds with what the Euro-Atlantic bloc sees as politically acceptable. This trend, however, has reached its limits. Any further deadlock or delay in the process of EU enlargement - NATO alone cannot guarantee economic and social stability - will destabilize the political situation in Sofia and Bucharest.

Kosovo appears to be achieving a restoration of self-rule for the first time since 1989. Yugoslavia, of which Kosovo is formally a part, may cease to exist next spring after the secession of Montenegro. Neither the USA nor the EU will be able to prevent the Pristina government from following the example of Montenegro. If the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the de jure secession of Montenegro take place in the absence of a comprehensive Western policy on a new, permanent status quo in the Balkans, then the repercussions will be devastating: Serbia’s democracy is fragile while relations between Slav-Macedonians and ethnic Albanians in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are on the edge.

Given the current state of affairs, it is more than certain that the USA and the EU will take no stabilizing initiatives. The approaching Balkan tribulations will be another test of the EU’s and USA’s mediatory and interventionist credibility.

 

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