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Prospects for the Balkans and the Limits to Stability

St. George Association
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  • Education
  • Law
  • Political Science


05Medjimorec.qxd 23 Prospects for the Balkans and the Limits to Stability Miroslav Medjimorec Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Croatia The results of the summit in Prague recently changed Europe (and the world) forever. The acceptance of seven new NATO members and the agreement on full EU membership for ten additional members has reshaped the old continent. The old post-Versailles and post-Yalta political order is definitively over, and Europe is moving toward De Gaulle’s then visionary idea of a Europe unit- ed from the Atlantic to the Urals. Giscard d’Estaing is proposing a future confederal structure, in which Europe would play a more important role in global issues, and be united under common ideals, visions, standards and laws in political life, economy, human rights, freedom of movement, and education. Only one lit- tle corner, one “enclave” (as Michael Steiner, UN representative in Kosovo, has said), Europe’s “backyard”, the Balkans, remains “pro futuro”, excluded from the process of Euro-Atlantic integra- tion. Why? What are the prospects for countries considered part of the “West Balkan region”? What must these “West Balkan countries” do to become part of the European family ? Croatia is strongly opposed to the “West Balkan” category, for Croatia is a middle-European and Mediterranean country (based on its history, tradition, culture, geopolitical position, and self- determination). It is only the last seventy years of common history with the peoples of former Yugoslavia that have made it a Balkan country. Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro (that is, their politicians, businessmen, scientists, and artists) try to explain the issues in historical terms, but such expla- NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE FUTURE 1-2 (3) 2002, pp. 23-30 nations are greeted with scorn or lack of understanding. European politicians attempt to ignore our history, eradicate our differences, and destroy our memory. We, on the other hand, believe history freed from ideology explains

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