The Western Balkans and the EU : "the hour of Europe"
Cahiers de Chaillot
FR : Institut d'études de sécurité de l'Union européenne
Today, more than fifteen years after the end of the wars that accompanied Yugoslavia's dissolution, the "Balkan question" remains more than ever a "European question". In the eyes of many Europeans in the 1990s, Bosnia was the symbol of a collective failure, while Kosovo later became a catalyst for an emerging Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). In the last decade, however, the overall thrust of the EU's Balkans policy has moved from an agenda dominated by security issues related to the war and its legacies to one focused on the perspective of the Western Balkan states' accession to the European Union. This Chaillot Paper, which features contributions from authors from various parts of the region, examines the current state of play in the countries of the Western Balkans with regard to EU accession. It brings together both views from the Balkans states themselves and overarching thematic perspectives. For the first time the European Union has become involved in the formation of new nation-states that also aspire to become members of the Union. The EU's transformative power has proved effective in integrating established states ; now it is confronted with the challenge of integrating new and sometimes contested states. Against this background, this paper makes the case for a concerted regional approach to EU enlargement, and a renewed and sustained commitment to the European integration of the Western Balkans. (résumé de l'éditeur)