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The Balkans in Europe’s Future

65 pages, pdf
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The Balkans in Europe’s Future

Publisher: International Commission on the Balkans

Volume: 65 pages, pdf


Almost a decade after the Dayton Agreement, and almost five years after the fall of the Milosevic regime in Belgrade, the Western Balkans2 are a relatively stable region with no military conflicts, no ongoing ethnic cleansing, where elections are free, if not always fair. In Thessaloniki in June 2003, the European Union committed itself to integrating the countries from the region. But what does this commitment really mean?

The region is as close to failure as it is to success. For the moment, the wars are over, but the smell of violence still hangs heavy in the air. The region's profile is bleak - a mixture of weak states and international protectorates, where Europe has stationed almost half of its deployable forces. Economic growth in these territories is low or non-existent; unemployment is high; corruption is pervasive; and the public is pessimistic and distrustful towards its nascent democratic institutions.