September 2004 - With the fall of communist regimes across Eastern Europe in 1989 and the subsequent breakup of the multiethnic Soviet, Yugoslav and Czechoslovak states, many scholars and journalists warned of the imminent danger of ethnic conflict throughout the region. Yet if the bloody dismemberment of Yugoslavia realized most of these dire forecasts, the dissolution of the Soviet Union resulted in surprisingly little ethnic conflict, outside Central Asia and the Caucasus. The large-scale ethnic mobilization that accelerated in Soviet republics under Gorbachev seemed to lose steam after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Recent ethnic demobilization in the former Soviet Union presents a puzzle for scholars of nationalism and comparative politics, since the conditions for ethnic conflict cited by area specialists have only worsened over time.
July 2006: Report done by Luso American Foundation: Over the last decade, Europe has developed an active strategy of engagement with the southern Mediterranean countries in the form of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (the Barcelona Process) and the Mediterranean dimension of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). NATO, too, has an increasingly active program of dialogue and cooperation in the Mediterranean. Southern European countries have been at the forefront in stressing the importance of Europe’s interests in the Mediterranean and North-South Relations
With the collapse of state socialism in 1989, the formerly communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe (hereafter CEE) had no choice but to shake off their deeply ingrained Cold War mentality and try to take their place in a world characterized by globalization and increased regional integration. Their “return to Europe,” or integration into the structures of the European Community/European Union (EC/EU), passed an important milestone in 1993, when the EU made the historic decision to enlarge eastwards and accept new members from the formerly communist countries. Accession negotiations opened in spring 1998 for "fast-track" countries (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Estonia), and in February 2000 for "slow-track" countries (Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania, Latvia, and Lithuania). This paper focuses on the CEE countries’ “accession perspective”—their motives, expectations, deliberations, and practical difficulties as they strive to become part of the EU’s anticipated eastward enlargement.