Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Kennan Institute Occasional Paper Series #157, 1981. PDF 80 pages.
According to U.S. and EU officials, transatlantic coordination, communication and cooperation is excellent, and has improved substantially over the last few years. Meetings between the EU, U.S. State Department and OSCE officials occur regularly and conversations happen on a daily basis. The most important elements of the policy toward the Western Balkans are EU led and U.S. supported. This cooperation was most apparent in the Serbia-Kosovo negotiations that were restarted this year. The U.S. has joined the EU on policies dealing with specific issues, such as women’s empowerment, economic development and housing for refugees and internally displaced people. The overall policy of Euroatlantic integration is openly supported not only in Washington and Brussels, but also by civil society: opinion polls consistently reveal that EU accession is what the people of the region want.
Working Paper VI: EU - US Agenda in 2012: Transatlantic Support for Enlargement and Stability amidst Financial CrisesMar 26, 2012
Over the course of 2011 a number of European analysts of US foreign relations predicted that in the future American foreign policy would have a new focus in Asia-Pacific. Stemming primarily from a political economy perspective that focuses on the impact of the market growth in leading emerging economies, this vision highlights the influence of Asia. This argument requires the thinking that geopolitical stability in Western Europe and the Mediterranean area, together with the politics of power and the politics of diplomacy matter less now than they did at any time since the Second World War.
A key question popping up in 2011 will very likely continue to shape policy discussions and debates in the Western Balkans in 2012: why doesn’t the “magnetic pull” of Europe seem to be resulting in reform and progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina? The “transformative power” thesis that grounds the European Union’s engagements in pre-accession countries is predicated on the assumption that the promised riches of membership will drive domestic leaders in any EU-hopeful country to align their country’s policies and practices with the norms required by the Club. The wave of accession over the past decade is used as an illustration of the success of this model. Poland, Hungary and Malta benefitted from the technical rigors of EU accession preparation, followed not so long after by even Bulgaria and Romania. Surely this process promotes and results in the political, social and economic change desired to preserve and expand the European experiment, and to move towards an “ever closer union.”
According to the logic of conditionality, the promise of membership is the key incentive that compels politicians to implement difficult reforms, and it is the EU’s main tool in the accession process. For many reasons, however, conditionality is not working in the Western Balkans in the same way it had in previous enlargements.
Democracy and legitimacy are closely linked. Legitimacy to govern is tested through elections, of course, but the challenge should not end there: throughout their terms, politicians’ legitimacy is linked to their ability to adhere to constitutional and legal constraints. State institutions are similarly held to account. Courts must ensure that remedies are provided to disputing parties and all cases are judged fairly; the legislature must operate according to predetermined rules for adopting laws; ministries must follow their protocols; and all of the branches of government must operate under the checks and balances envisioned by the Constitution. The media, oversight institutions, opposition political parties and NGOs maintain a careful watch on leaders and state institutions to ensure that people with power continue to operate within the law. In a democracy, maintaining legitimacy is as important as the elections themselves.
After all the hard work that the international community has put in establishing and funding the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the huge and prolonged efforts expensed at processes of European Union accession, it must be extremely disappointing to international actors to accept the profound illegitimacy that both the ICTY and much of EU institutions face in the region today.
In this volume, Cohen and Lampe offer a comparative, cross-regional study of the politics and economics of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Albania from 1999 until the present.
This conference aimed at exploring the experiences and the political goals of women elected to parliament in the postcommunist countries of East Central Europe and Russia. Since 1989, the political scene in Eastern Europe and Russia has changed swiftly. In many countries, women participated in the drive to transform the communist system through demonstrations, civil activism and roundtables.Yet, in the immediate transition period, civic participation of the population in general has declined and the social and political participation of women seems to have declined more than that of men. This difference is attributed in part to the fact that women have been more burdened by the complex adjustments to the social and economic transformations of their societies. In the last few years, however, women with good qualifications and professional experience are slowly gaining political power and influence in several countries.
November 2005 - Mostar was the most heavily damaged city of the 1992 to 1995 war in Bosnia. Ninety percent of its center was damaged and a third of its buildings were completely destroyed. Thousands were killed and tens of thousands were displaced from their homes and from the city, while tens of thousands of others moved to Mostar. This physical and demographic change clearly affected the city's postwar climate. However, the war's most notorious legacy in Mostar is the city's political and psychological division into Croat and Muslim sides.