NATO and Western Balkans: Still unfinished business
Security Dialogues. Journal in the field of Security, Defence and Peace Studies
Instability in Southeastern Europe, and especially in the Balkans as its most vulnerable part, is primarily a European problem, but also a problem for NATO. These countries were included in the regional stabilization program from the very beginning. Twenty-five years later, the truth is that there is no open or visible threat of war and ethnic conflict. However, some security challenges still exist as a seed for a potential crisis. There is still unfinished business in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
... and Herzegovina, which threatens to shake ethnic stability. Kosovo struggles for its full independence and promotion as a sovereign state and faces a strong Serbian diplomatic action to oppose the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo. Macedonia has a name dispute with Greece and waits too long for NATO membership and to begin the negotiation process for EU membership. Serbia as a country is important from many perspectives that are related to regional stability. During the Warhaw Summit it was noted that the Western Balkans is a region that is of strategic importance to which the alliance pays proper attention. Democracy values, the rule of law, domestic reforms and good neighborly relations are of vital importance to regional cooperation. Euro-Atlantic integration of the region was also emphasized in the final communique of the summit. NATO stressed that decisions on enlargement will depend solely on NATO and that each aspirant will be evaluated based on its achievements. In our paper we will analyze regional security challenges and NATO role.