01 Jan 2005

A European Balkans?

Jacques Rupnik / Daniel Serwer / Boris Shmelev

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ESF Working Paper No. 18, 21 pages

At the Thessaloniki meeting of the European Council (June 2003), the prospect was laid out of including the Balkans, over time, within the European Union. How that vision is to be fulfilled is obviously very much open to question. Short-term events are going to put the Balkans at the centre of European security concerns over the coming months in the run-up to United Nations’ discussions on Kosovo’s final status in mid-2005. These include the Macedonian referendum, the deployment of EU forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina (operation Altea) and the rising aspirations of Kosovar Albanians for Kosovo’s independence. This European Security Forum working paper looks at the approach of the EU, the US and Russia towards fostering stability and development in the region – in the face of its lagging transformation and growing worries about further conflict over Kosovo.