The Sarajevo summit once again re-affirmed the impression that the EU is attempting to solve the region’s problems on an ad hoc basis, without a clear commitment and without offering anything that hasn’t already been on the agenda since 2000.
While Djukanovic’s ruling party has claimed victory, the opposition seems likely to be galvanised by their relatively strong showing in the capital and elsewhere.
Side-stepping the sovereignty issue and avoiding partition requires increased autonomy for the Serbs north of the Ibar and some form of role for Serbia vis-à-vis the southern Serbs and the Serbian Orthodox Church.
TransConflict, in conjunction with Jagello 2000 from the Czech Republic, organized a panel discussion, entitled ‘NATO’s new Strategic Concept – Russia and Energy Security’, to coincide with the recommendations and analysis of the Group of Experts appointed to lay the groundwork for the development of a new Strategic Concept.
On the day that the group of experts charged with leading the development of NATO’s new Strategic Concept presented their analysis and recommendations, TransConflict Serbia organized a conference in Belgrade, entitled ‘National perspectives on NATO’s new Strategic Concept’.
The economic crisis – which has eroded the EU’s solidarity and diluted its appetite for further enlargement – will serve to fuel populism and undermine the resolution of outstanding conflicts in the Balkans.
In an interview with TransConflict Serbia, the Czech Republic’s Ambassador to NATO, H.E. Mr. Martin Povejšil, responded to a series of questions regarding the development of NATO’s future and the development of a new Strategic Concept.
The growing opposition to military interventions amongst a majority of member states means that NATO’s new Strategic Concept must consider how the Alliance can and will pursue a stronger political and co-ordinating role.
Grassroots involvement in conflict transformation is key to overcoming the prejudice and mistrust that lies at the centre of many of the current problems facing the southern Balkans.
In light of recent protests, the international community and the Kosovo authorities must do more to ensure the sustainable return of Serbs and other non-Albanian minorities to Kosovo.