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Is the EU losing the Western Balkans?

17 March 2008

On 17 March 2008, the Institute hosted a seminar entitled ‘Is the EU losing the Western Balkans?’ in Paris. This seminar was attended by nearly fifty officials and experts on the Balkans from EU Member States, from the Western Balkans region, and including one participant from the United States. The discussions focused on Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina respectively. In the context of recent developments, the question was whether the Serbian ‘historic choice’ at the parliamentary elections due to take place on 11 May will result in a clear and coherent vision of the country’s future. As far as Kosovo is concerned, despite the unsatisfactory outcome of the status process, a significant step forward has been made: however, EU members urgently need to adopt a common position on the status of Kosovo if they want EU credibility to be maintained. Regarding Bosnia-Herzegovina, the question was whether it was preferable to maintain the status quo or to go for a transition towards a post-Bonn Powers BiH.