October 1999 - Southeastern Europe has challenged the future of Europe and North America. While some of the region's intractable disputes simmer (e.g., between Greece and Turkey), the events, policies and personalities that inflamed the Balkans since 1989 have endangered principles for which advanced democracies stand and the alliance that unites them in common defense. If and how we pre-empt, halt and un-do heinous measures by nationalists and extremists in the Balkans will largely determine how the Euro-Atlantic community enters the 21s century.
October 1998 - The mass-based, extreme brand of nationalism, connected with the rise of Slobodan MiloŠevic and with the most cataclysmic years of Yugoslavia's meltdown and disintegration (1990-93), has to a large extent dissipated. However, political forces advancing extreme nationalist sentiments, as well as popular support for those views, remain strong in Serbia and among Serbs in other areas such as Kosovo and the Republika Srpska (as we have just seen from the electoral results in Bosnia). Although intellectual ideologists of Serbian nationalism and ultra-nationalism have been dispirited by MiloŠevic's failures, fundamental views about Serbia's national and territorial interests persist, related to feelings of "wounded national pride." Talk of pursuing a "Greater Serbia" and open revanchism are now rather less visible, as soul-searching occurs about recent Serb experiences in the Balkans. There is still, however, a strong commitment in various circles to the pursuit of Serbian national interests, as well as resentment about what has occurred over the last decade.
September 2003 - With Iraq, Israel-Palestine and North Korea so prominent in the headlines these days, it is little wonder that the Balkans have received scant attention. However, substantial risks remain, and policy makers do not help matters by prematurely ‘declaring victory.'
November 2000 - Europe is currently enjoying an unprecedented level of integration and unity in a number of key areas. Among some of the most important elements of an integrated union, the EU has achieved: * a common commercial policy; * a single market; * a common foreign and security policy; * a single currency (Euro); and * a European judicial system. Given the recent progress the EU has made on internal integrative measures in these key organizational areas it is harder to join Europe now then in the past. Regardless, Mr. Cameron states, Europe will expand within this decade. Indeed the process is well under way, started shortly after the fall of communism in the early 1990s with the signing of association agreements with certain Central East European countries and continued with the recent stabilization and association agreements signed with the former Yugoslav states. The EU also has free-trade agreements in place with nations of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
November 2007 - On August 5, 2007, Croatia celebrated the twelfth anniversary of Operation Storm (Oluja), the four-day military action that liberated over 10,000 square kilometers (18.4 percent of Croatia) after peace negations to reintegrate the territory failed to make progress. The entire Croatian political leadership gathered in Knin, the capital of the former Krajina para-state and the actual and symbolic center of the Serb rebellion against rule from Zagreb. Since 1996, Croatia has commemorated the day Knin fell to the Croatian Army as the Day of Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving.
68. NATO as a Factor of Security Community Building: Enlargement and Democratization in Central and Eastern EuropeJul 07, 2011
This research project is motivated by a double empirical puzzle underlying the implications of NATO enlargement for the process of security community formation in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). First, the development of institutional relationships between NATO and most of the former communist countries has led to ambiguous results in terms of reducing sources of political tension and military conflict (i.e., positive, in the case of Romania and Hungary or Hungary and Slovakia; inconclusive for Armenia and Azerbaijan; and negative for Belarus). Second, despite their relatively similar, constant and strong support for NATO membership, the countries of the region have demonstrated curious policy discrepancies, especially in contrast with the vast majority of long-term NATO members, when faced with the option of assisting certain NATO operations (i.e., the1999 military intervention in Kosovo). Accordingly, while the first empirical anomaly calls attention to possible NATO institutional effects, the second one hints to its potential normative influences.
December 2004 - European Union (EU) enlargement raises important questions about both the impact of EU membership on the postcommunist countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the impact of these new member states on the EU. Although it has been a relatively short time since the May 1, 2004 enlargement, several trends can already be identified. The first trend reveals that the EU and its institutions have lost much of the influence they had in the new member states during the accession process. New member states now have somewhat more freedom in directing their economic, social and political development. A second trend indicates that some new member states (namely those that are poorer, more peripheral and "newer" nation states) have displayed a stronger preference for the Anglo-American model of social policy and opposed the traditional European social model, based on social cohesion and solidarity. The third trend is connected to the so-called "fiscal dumping" practiced by several of the new member states, where substantially lower levels of corporate and payroll taxes (compared to the average tax and payroll burden in the EU-15) were introduced. Several of the EU-15 states immediately expressed their disapproval. This unanticipated competition between the old and new member states goes hand in hand with "social dumping," which stems from the wage differentials between the old and new member states. As a result, governments in the EU-15 are afraid that prosperous companies in the West will move to Eastern Europe. These trends indicate an overall divergence between old and new EU member states. But, is it a serious gap or just a temporary digression? What are the underlying reasons for the divergent processes in the two parts of Europe and what are the possible consequences for the EU?
To the question posed in the title, both affirmative and negative answers can be supported by intuition or certain facts of historical development. In order to give a historical answer, there is a need for a deeper structural analysis of the creation and development of the three regions of Europe: western Europe, Central Europe, and Eastern Europe.
December 2001- The Central and East European (CEE) countries aspiring to accede to the European Union (EU) have been harmonizing their visa policies with Union standards. The EU has made obligatory the full adoption of the visa acquis (a set of regulations and practices) by the CEE countries without an option for derogation, even though such an option has been granted to some of the EU members - the UK, Ireland and Denmark. The CEE countries are under the obligation to comply with the EU visa regulations even if this requires the imposition of visas on nationals of states which have never before been under such a duty and where there are close historic, economic, and family links. At the same time, the EU has encouraged cross-border cooperation and has urged the CEE countries to establish and foster good bilateral relations with their neighbors. However, the adoption of the EU visa policy by the CEE countries has had the undesirable effect of creating obstacles to cross-border movement of people (and goods) in the region and has led to political, economic, and social tensions rather than to the desired good neighborly relations. Ironically, the implementation of the EU visa acquis has, in fact, jeopardized what Helen Wallace has called "a kind of central European acquis," which fostered constructive forms of multilateralism and bilateralism that have been vastly important in West European integration.
The achievement of security in a post-Warsaw Pact Europe dominated by NATO continues to be a formidable task for the Czech national security infrastructure. The Czech Republic earned its NATO membership as an overall result of its progress in its political and economic transitions and by fulfilling the criteria that NATO set out for the Czech Republic in terms of its civil-military relations and interoperability goals.