Moscow, October 29, 2015: Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic; Serbia sides with Russia on key strategic issues while pursuing EU membership (source: dpa)

Europe’s dangerously unfinished mission in the Western Balkans

November 2015 marks two decades since the Dayton Peace Accords set the Western Balkans states on their long and tortuous path to eventual peace. Wars in the region erupted regularly between 1991 and 2001 as part of the post-Cold War disintegration of the former Yugoslav federation. The brutal ethnic clashes were difficult to quell. It took scores of peacekeeping forces, several internationally mediated agreements and rounds of Nato bombing for Europe’s worst bloodletting since the Second World War to finally stop.

The success of the European Union and Nato proved limited though. The root causes of the Balkan wars remain. The conflicts were choked off rather than resolved. No peace-bui...

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Professor Dr. Blerim Reka
When it comes to the leading EU powers, France has little enthusiasm for further enlargement and the United Kingdom shows little interest in the EU project in general; only Germany is making some effort to keep the SAP process alive
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