The political conditions for opening the path towards EU integration for the countries of the Western Balkans include both full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and regional reconciliation. This paper examines the extent to which this strategy has worked, looking at questions of leadership and political will, as well as the place that EU integration takes on national agendas.
Is there an ‘Albanian question’? If so, what is it? Is it a traditional ‘national question’, centred on the dream of a ‘Greater Albania’ that would gather in all the Albanian communities in the Balkans? Many outside observers, in particular among the Albanians’ neighbours in the Balkans, see it that way and fear its destabilising consequences, but none of the contributors to this Chaillot Paper finds this scenario convincing.
After the first round of the presidential election on 20 January, the prospects for Serbia’s European future look as precarious as they have ever been. Not unexpectedly, the Serbian Radical Party candidate, Tomislav Nikolic, beat incumbent President Boris Tadic by 39.96 per cent to to 35.41 per cent according to the official provisional results, which differ slightly.
After several months of predictably fruitless ‘negotiations’ between Serbia and the Kosovar AlbaniansMartti Ahtisaari, the UN Special Envoy for Kosovo, released the text of his proposed solution for the future status of the province. It is now expected that the UN Security Council will consider the proposal and take action in April. However, much uncertainty surrounds the next steps.
Lorsque j’ai pris mes fonctions en 2002, l’Union était triomphante (lancement de l’euro, négociations du grand élargissement) et la PESC balbutiante. A la veille de mon départ cinq ans plus tard, le bilan est totalement inversé : l’Union traverse une crise majeure (de confiance, de projet, d’institutions, d’identité), mais la PESC est florissante et rares sont les crises extérieures dans lesquelles Javier Solana n’est pas sollicité.
The Montenegrin referendum of 21 May was a major success for the EU. Skilful, patient and determined deployment of the EU's 'soft power' brought remarkable results: the EU's efforts overcame acute political polarisation among key players and brokered acceptable rules of the game, which stimulated exceptionally high voter turnout on the day.
The European Council in December 2005 welcomed the paper produced by the Council General Secretariat on Implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the context of ESDP (doc.11932/2/05). The EU Institute for Security Studies was invited to conduct a case study on gender mainstreaming in ESDP operations, with specific reference to the missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
As a close observer of the short and unhappy history of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, I was often reminded of what I learned from watching the Czechs and Slovaks abandon their common state between 1989 and 1993. Although I had worked for several years on ‘Czechoslovak’ politics, I did not expect this federation to fail.
I was in Montenegro 20-24 May over the referendum period, and in Belgrade 24-27 May to gauge reactions to the result there. The following note presents my reflections on the significance of the referendum for EU Balkans policy; on the prospects for independent Montenegro; and reactions in Belgrade.
"Had Nikolic won, certainly there would have been enormous problems in moving forward to the EU,'' said Judy Batt, a senior research fellow at the EU Institute for Security Studies. "But even with Tadic, there are still obstacles in the way.'' Bloomberg