Border conflicts in the Balkans

A map highlighting several Balkan border-dispute hotspots
The Balkan states are involved in at several border disputes, from the waters of Piran Bay to Serbia’s claims against Kosovo (source: macpixxel for GIS)
  • Eight border disputes are still dividing the Balkan countries, years after war
  • Some of these conflicts, such as between Serbia and Kosovo, may not be resolved for a decade or more
  • The unresolved disputes may threaten the EU candidacy of countries like Serbia and Albania

Almost three decades after Yugoslavia’s dissolution, the new borders of the Balkans are still not fixed and will likely remain so for the next decade. Only a few bilateral demarcation agreements between the former federal units have been signed, and each of the countries has unresolved boundary issues that may remain open for years to come. These territorial disputes will most likely lead to a delayed stabilization of the Balkans. As German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said, there is still a “fragile peace” in the region. Less likely, the EU and NATO may accept new member states from the Balkans despite the border issues.

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