Twenty years ago, in July 1992, NATO started taking on a limited crisis-management role in support of international efforts to end the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. Within a few years, the Alliance was called upon to play a more robust role: it deployed its first ever peace-support operation to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995 and later intervened to end the crisis in Kosovo in 1999. NATO’s involvement in stabilising the Western Balkans has played a key role in the transformation of the Alliance after the end of the Cold War.
End of ‘balkanization’?
A highly anticipated report by the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Serge Brammertz, on Serbia's and Croatia's cooperation with the court appears less positive than both countries were expecting. But it might just be enough to allow them to move another half step down the path towards EU integration.
A court ruling in Slovenia has allowed arbitration with Croatia on a border dispute dating back to the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1991. The decision brings Croatia one step closer to its goal of EU membership.
A result that bodes well for the future of Croatia and the western Balkans
On January 1, 2010 the presidency in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe will be passed in rotation to Kazakhstan. In this connection during an annual Eurasian media forum, which took place in Moscow recently, there was an opinion expressed that in the close future the emphasis in OSCE activities will shift – instead of the human rights issues the priority will be given to the security issues. It is noticing that though Kazakhstan’s leader Nazarbayev is known for his authoritative methods, his country can’t impose its policy or vision of problems on other OSCE countries, even when Russia and Belarus support Kazakhstan as their Customs Union partner.
Slovenia and Croatia have reached an agreement on their long-running border dispute, a move that will allow Croatia to continue its European Union accession talks.
When the post-World War II German states the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic, West and East Germany, respectively, were united in 1990, it was for many in Europe and the world as a whole a heady time, fraught with hopes of a continent at peace and perhaps disarmed.