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Volume 2 - Issue 2, February 2012


THE BALKANS AND THE FUTURE OF EURO-ATLANTIC INTEGRATION Atlantic Voices is the monthly publication of the Atlantic Treaty Association. It aims to inform the

debate on key issues that affect

the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, its goals and its future. The work published in Atlantic Voices is written by young professionals and researchers. This issue of Atlantic Voices aims to examine the Balkans region. Assessing its importance to the Atlantic Community, how far the Balkans has progressed with integration into this community, and what some of the potential obstacles facing this integration are. The issue utilises expertise from within the Balkan region itself to explore these issues. We hope you find the following pages both informative and thought provoking, As part of our goal in promoting and informing the public debate upon these topics, Atlantic Voices is happy to accept responses to the issue and articles we have selected.

Admiral James G. Stavridis SACEUR, meets Artur Kuko, Permanent Representative of Albania to NATO and Arben Imami, Minister of Defence of Albania

Contents: The Western Balkans on the Euro-Atlantic “Way� Branko Lazic examines some of the recent developments in the Western Balkans with regards to further NATO enlargement. Branko examines levels of support for NATO membership within domestic populations as well as some of the wider political questions which hold significant influence on the issue.

Balkan Euro-Atlantic Aspiration and Regional Cooperation Ilija Djugumanov and Jordan Tasev explore the state of the integration of the Balkans into the wider Euro-Atlantic architecture. Examining the importance of the region for European security, and also assessing the importance of the region to Turkey and Russia.

Atlantic Voices Volume 2 Issue 2


Comment: Bursting the Bubble of Idealism Everybody is arguing that the world is changing, but why are

the world isn´t what we expected, and I think the consequences

concerned about whether younger generations are prepared to

are that we´re distancing ourselves from “the interest-driven

cope with its consequences?

world”, with NATO arguably serving as an arena for interests

Essential for any reflections, it is first and upmost essential to

rather than a “force for good”.

acknowledge that my generation has been strongly influenced by

We, the future of decision- and policy makers, have been

the 90s enthusiasm and revival for concepts like United Nations,

indoctrinated in a “war is bad, peace is good” mentality, and thus

universal rights, rule of law and the fight for global justice, last

raising the bar for young professionals and students in relating

but not least the world community´s responsibility to protect.

and engaging in anything to do with interests, NATO being no

This is a result of me and my generation being more or less iso-


lated from an existential threat, and thus raised in society whose

What then can we do? I have to immediate thoughts. First of

mentality implies that it is the universal values mentioned just

all, I think today´s decision-makers have to be more honest on

now that make the world a better place to be – as opposed to

why we do things. Take Afghanistan as example, submitting

more traditional strategic and realpolitikal terms as power, geo-

allied troops to the ISAF mission was arguably value-driven

politics, balance, interests etc, and I´m afraid that we´re more

(democracy, governance, getting rid of opium, rule of law, kick-

used to the exception rather than the rule when it comes to glob-

ing out Taliban), but exiting seems to be based on everything

al politics. My generation is raised in an idealistic bubble.

else than the initial value-based rhetoric. Second, my colleagues

The important question, however, is if this conflicts with today´s spirit of the transatlantic community?

and I in YATA clearly have to intensify our work in furthering information about our field of study. We have to get better at

Well, if the spirit of the transatlantic community is based on

confronting our peers with the notion that security and defence

democracy and the rule of law, then it is obvious that we need

is unfortunately a necessary evil, a necessity that cannot be decou-

not to worry for the future of transatlantic values. Americans

pled from the concept of interest.

have in fact emphasized democracy and rule of law when it

Ideals are great, but by failing to also address or communicate

comes to justifying their foreign policy – and so have Europeans.

interests as an important driver, my generation´s confidence in

The result is common ground – shared values.

transatlantic cooperation (which is both interest and value driv-

The problem, however, arises when conduct is more or less

en) will never get stronger in the future.

explicitly disconnected from values or rhetoric, which I believe is a “shocking” reality that I see many of my friends and fellows are confronted with more and more, and which is a reality that

Adapted from a speech by Sean Lobo, YATA Norway, given at the 47th

probably won´t get any better in the near future. Bottom line is:

annual Leangkollen Conference in Norway

About the Authors Branko Lazić

Ilija Djugumanov and Jordan Tasev

Branko Lazić has studies international relations at the

Ilija Djugumanov is currently pursuing a Masters De-

faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Belgrade.

gree in International Relations at the University of Göte-

In addition Mr. Lazić has recently graduated from the

borg, He is also currently president of the Youth Atlantic

“Koca Popovic” Diplomatic Academy, Vienna. In addition,

Treaty Association of Macedonia.

Branko Lazić has been an active member of the Serbian Atlantic Council.

Jordan Tasev is currently Secretary-General of the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association of Macedonia, and currently studying at the Institute for Security, Defence, and Peace Studies in Skopje.

Atlantic Voices Volume 2 Issue 2


The Western Balkans on the Euro-Atlantic “Way” by Branko Lazić


ore than a decade after the end of period of

unilateral declaration of Kosovo’s independence in February

permanent hostilities on the Balkans peninsu-


la it is still difficult to speak about prosperous

Discussing the issue of the Western Balkans Euro-Atlantic

and democratized region. There are many reasons why it is not

integration demands dealing with the fact that NATO member-

the case but it is obvious that some progress has been made in the

ship for most of the European countries was one step before

previous decade. Some Western Balkan states are already inte-

their EU membership. It is sort of unofficial pre-condition for

grated in the Alliance and one of them is going to become EU

the EU membership if we take a look at the EU integration of the

member state next year. The years of violence are behind the

former communist countries. All Western Balkan countries be-

Balkans and it is unlikely to expect new tectonic moves within

long to that category and they hardly can be compared with non-

the region but there are several very sensitive issues which need

communist EU entries. Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Monte-

to be resolved if the West wants to see a peaceful and developed

negro and Albania definitely belong to the group of countries

Western Balkans integrated in the NATO and the EU. NATO

which need to carefully balance their Atlanticism with their Eu-

membership seems easier to be achieved but that might be


wrongly perceived because some countries still can’t rebuild

The European Union and NATO strongly cooperate within

relations with the Alliance even though it was expected at the

the Western Balkan area. Berlin Plus is just one of the modalities

beginning of 2000’s.

of their cooperation. The European Union has continued to build

After the adoption of the NATO’s New Strategic Concept in

peace and stability in Bosnia-Herzegovina since December 2004

November 2010 it is clear to everyone that NATO’s doors re-

within operation Althea. In FYROM EU has been leading opera-

main open to any European country in a position to undertake

tion Concordia after NATO finished its Operation Allied Har-

the commitments and obligations of membership. Primarily it

mony. European Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) rep-

can be directed toward Western Balkan countries which are

resents a mission which has a goal to achieve legal and adminis-

already deeply involved in the process of Euro-Atlantic integra-

trative improvements within Kosovo’s society. At the same time

tion. Albania and Croatia already reached the goal of the NATO

NATO leads KFOR mission in the still fragile area. It must be

membership on 1 April 2009 at Strasbourg-Kehl Summit. In December 2009 NATO foreign ministers decided to invite Montenegro to join the Membership Action Plan. At the same time Bosnia and Herzegovina was informed that it may join the Alliance once it has

underlined that EU at its

...NATO membership for most of the European countries was one step before their EU membership.

achieved necessary progress in its reform efforts. Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is in the state of

summit in Thessaloniki in 2003 declared that “the future of the Balkans is within the EU”. This was a signal of strong support

to the Western Balkans that they were on their European way.

‘frozen dialogue’ with the NATO and the EU because of the

If we take a look at the concrete developments with individ-

country’s name dispute with Greece. The case of Serbia remains

ual countries it can be concluded that there are several groups of

controversial because of Kosovo’s dispute and NATO interven-

Western Balkan states dealing with NATO integration. Albania

tion in 1999, however Serbia still tries to re-establish good rela-

and Croatia already fulfilled their membership goals. Montene-

tions within region and with the Western states. Serbia has had a

gro is well on the way towards membership of the Alliance.

lot of success in the building of good relations with its neighbors,

Whilst FYROM and Bosnia and Herzegovina are blocked because

especially with Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Of course, it is

of several disputes. Finally, Serbia decided to declare military

not an easy task especially after most of the EU and NATO

neutrality in 2007 and even though it participates in the Partner-

member states, but also most of neighbor states, recognized

ship for Peace Programme there are no signals that Serbia will

Atlantic Voices Volume 2 Issue 2


choose membership policy. European Union membership is,

nal (ICTY) and because of misunderstandings with the most of

however, a common goal for all Western Balkan countries. Cro-

EU and NATO member states regarding the status of Kosovo

atia successfully concluded its accession negotiations with the EU

which Serbia considers as its southern province under UN con-

and on 1 July 2013 Croatia will become an EU member country.

trol. In the meantime Serbia arrested all war crimes suspects

FYROM applied to become an official candidate on 22 March

including Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic. Serbia answered

2004 and it was formally named as an EU membership candidate

on the EC’s legislative questionnaire in a shortest possible peri-

on 17 December 2005, but there is no progress regarding open-

od. The Commission has now decided that Serbia has fulfilled all

ing dialogue on the membership accession because of the previ-

technical pre-conditions to become EU candidate. The last de-

ously mentioned country name’s dispute. Macedonia (FYROM)

velopments regarding Belgrade-Pristina dialogue have delayed

also has some difficulties in reaching European standards on the

Council’s decision to grant Serbia candidate status. Serbia now

rule of law and the economy. Albania applied for EU member-

hopes to receive full candidate status in March this year. The

ship on 28 April 2009 but has not yet achieved candidate status.

main obstacle towards EU accession of Kosovo is in the different

Albania’s candidacy status was not recognized in December 2010

position of the EU members on the Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of

primarily because of long lasting row in the country. Regarding

independence. Five of the EU member states still don’t recog-

Bosnia and Herzegovina there are many economic as political

nize Kosovo’s independence and there is no space for official

problems which are interrupting Bosnia’s Euro-Atlantic integra-

dialogue between Brussels and Pristina. Kosovo remains very

tion. Bosnia concluded its Stabilization and Association Agree-

fragile area with serious challenges related to the rule of law,

ment negotiations in December 2007 signing the SAA in 2008.

fight against corruption and organized crime, the strengthening

Their potential move toward EU membership can be described

of administrative capacities and protection of the Serbs and other

in the former EC chairman’s words. Mr. Prodi stated that Bosnia


and Herzegovina has a chance of joining EU soon after Croatia,

Looking toward future NATO enlargement the state with

but it is entirely dependent on the country’s progress. Of

the best chance of gaining full membership is Montenegro. Mon-

course, that progress can be understood as a dialogue and com-

tenegro joined PfP in December 2006 together with Serbia and

mon policy among Bosnia’s entity’s leaderships. Some steps

Bosnia-Herzegovina. Since April 2008 the Montenegrin Govern-

forward were taken in the previous years but there is still a lot of

ment has engaged in an Intensified Dialogue with NATO. The

room for improvement and that might be the main reason why

next year in December 2009 Montenegro was invited to join the Membership Action Plan. NATO’s Secretary General

Bosnia and Herzegovina didn’t decide to apply for EU candidate status. After obtaining independence in mid 2006 Monte-

...the state with the best chance of gaining full [NATO] membership is Montenegro.

negro very soon submit-

Mr. Rasmussen in June 2009 commended Montenegro’s political leaders for their courage and determination. He encouraged them to continue their efforts saying that it is of utmost importance to ensure that Montenegrin security agencies and defense sector meet NATO require-

ted its EU membership application. Montenegro officially sub-

ments. He emphasized the need for further fight against corrup-

mitted its candidacy to the EC on 15 December 2009. After

tion and organized crime in Montenegro. FYROM joined PfP

successful fulfillment of the EC’s questionnaire Montenegro

much before the other former Yugoslav republics. Macedonia

gained candidate status on 17 December 2010. The largest

started to cooperate with NATO within the PfP framework since

country in the region, Serbia has started its SAA negotiations

1995. Because of long-standing name dispute with Greece there

with EU in November 2005. On 29 April 2008 EU and Serbia

is a serious impediment to Macedonia’s NATO membership

signed Stabilisation and Association Agreement and officially

aspirations. Officially Athens demands that Skopje add a geo-

applied for the EU membership on 19 December 2009. During

graphic qualifier in the country’s name to differentiate it from

its stabilization and accession talks Serbia had many problems,

Greece’s province of Macedonia. Several proposals have been

mainly because of the lack in cooperation with the Hague Tribu-

presented for FYROM to adopt the names such as the “Republic

Atlantic Voices Volume 2 Issue 2


of Vardar Macedonia” and the “Republic of Northern Macedo-

state with weak central government it is clear why Bosnia still

nia”. Within Macedonia there is strong resistance among the

moves only slowly toward the EU and NATO. With Bosnian

Slavic majority (65% of population) toward a change of state’s

Muslims demanding strong central government, Bosnian Croats

name, even if this stops further Euro-Atlantic integration. If we

demanding more autonomy for Croats within Federation Bosnia-

take a look at the polls there is a strong support to NATO’s

Herzegovina (Muslim-Croat entity covering 51% of Bosnia and

membership of Macedonia and it is around 80%, so long as there

Herzegovina), and Bosnian Serbs frequently asking for secession

is no name dispute issue on the agenda. Within Montenegro there is still low support among the Montenegrin population for full NATO membership, though this is slowly rising, and it is now at 36% in favor of membership with 34% of the population oppos-

of its entity (Republika

The Serbian Government pursues a policy of building good relations with theWest, but at the same time declares Kosovo to be under its sovereignty.

ing it. The Montenegrin population (one third of which

Srpska which covers 49% of Bosnia and Herzegovina),



political situation is conflicted. If Bosnian Mus-

declare themselves as Serbs), when asked whether they support

lims continue to insist on the state’s centralization it is very diffi-

EU membership of Montenegro, answer with 66% of citizens

cult to expect any reforms within this multi-ethnic country. In

supporting the country’s EU membership. Obviously the Serbian

the case of Bosnia around 70% of the population, fully or partly,

population in Montenegro favors the EU more than it favors

support the country’s membership of the NATO Alliance.

NATO. This is partly a reflection of the 1999 NATO intervention against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The Serbian Government pursues a policy of building good relations with the West, but at the same time declares Kosovo to

Bosnia and Herzegovina were granted a conditional MAP in

be under its sovereignty. This has caused serious disturbances in

April 2010. Bosnia has in its possession considerable stockpiles of

Serbia’s relations with a majority of NATO and EU member

excess weaponry, including almost 70,000 rifles and pistols

states since 2007, when the Serbian Assembly adopted a Resolu-

along with explosive ordnance and ammunition in excess of

tion on the military neutrality of Serbia, and especially after Ko-

around 20,000 tons. Even though military infrastructure and

sovo’s declaration of independence in February 2008. Even

command were integrated in 2006 there is still lack in control of

though officially Belgrade declared a neutrality policy there have

military hardware. The two entities haven’t yet found a suffi-

been taken some important steps toward NATO admission of

cient compromise regarding this issue and it continues to cause

Serbia. The Serbian parliament recognized the 1995 massacre of

serious difficulties for Bosnia’s Euro-Atlantic path. If you add to

more than 7,000 civilians in Srebrenica during the Bosnian war,

this the fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina remains a dysfunctional

recognizing that there were large numbers of non-Serb victims in

NATO Military Committee, Led by Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, visits Kosovo on 8 September 2011.

Atlantic Voices Volume 2 Issue 2


that area. The Serbian government is showing serious efforts in

Source and Owner/Caption: ….. (if applicable)

pursuing a policy of coexistence with Albania proof of which is

NATO’s position regarding the future Alliance enlargement

the ongoing dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. Despite this

within the Western Balkans area can be described with the

there is a still strong anti-NATO sentiment among the Serbian

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s words:

people. It is mainly related to the NATO bombing campaign

“NATO’s vision for the Western Balkans region is clear: Euro-

against FR Yugoslavia in 1999 and it is obvious that this challenge

Atlantic integration is the best guarantee for peace, progress and prosperity…It is up to political leaders across the West-

must to be overcome if Serbia wants to join NATO. A dialogue has begun between Serbia and Western partners on

...Western Balkan countries must resolve their internal disputes which are still present.That means that the any solution must be a compromise...

the subject of Kosovo.

ern Balkans to demonstrate the courage and determination to create better future for their own nations, and for the entire region.” These words definitely show NATO’s willingness to strengthen its presence in the region. However any discussion of this demands open dialogue

During his visit to Balkans in 2009 US vice president Joseph

regarding several important issues. Alongside this it must be

Biden expressed the belief that the United States and Serbia

recognized that further integration will also require the willing-

could ‘’agree to disagree’’ on Kosovo. Support for Serbia’s

ness of regional governments to fight against widespread corrup-

membership in NATO is currently very low at only 15.6% in

tion, and accepting the fact that Russian Federation has strong

favor of membership with 66.3% of the Serbian population op-

influence in the region, with Moscow officially not in favor of


further NATO enlargement. Finally Western Balkan countries

It should be underlined that the policy of military neutrality

must resolve their internal disputes which are still present. That

of Serbia hasn’t been clearly defined either by a Resolution or by

means that the any solution must be a compromise where, for

any following documents outlining Serbia’s security policies such

example, Serbia will not be required to lose everything, nor

as the National Security Strategy and Defense Strategy approved

should Kosovo Albanians be perceived as receiving everything.

by the Serbian Parliament in October 2009. Serbia is continuing

This can be achieved by constructive dialogue and with support

to reform its Army, doing so with great success following the

of Western allies. The same must be done in case of Macedonia’s

fulfillment of NATO standards. Serbia’s military industry is the

name dispute. With the policy of compromise and sustainable

largest in region with around $400 million worth of sold weap-

regional development Western Balkans can be fully integrated in

ons, mostly in Iraq ($ 285 million). There are opinions that

the community of developed democracies.

NATO membership would allow Serbia to develop this industry further. Serbia has also intensified its dialogue with NATO since 2008. Last year there was organized “NATO’s Strategic Military Conference in Belgrade” which saw a gathering of 200 military officials from 55 countries. At the same time there is a strong cooperation between Serbian Army and the National Guard of Ohio. One clear sign that Western Balkan countries are beginning to play the role of peace facilitator is the fact that all Western Balkan countries participate in international military missions. With exception of Serbia which participates only in UN missions other Western Balkan states take part in the ISAF mission led by NATO in Afghanistan. Croatia has the largest troops (312) deployed in Afghanistan followed by Albania (286) and

The views expressed in this article are entirely those of the author. They

FYROM (163). Bosnia and Herzegovina participates with 55

do not necessarily represent the views of the Atlantic Treaty Association,

troops and Montenegro has 37 troops in Afghanistan.

it’s members, affiliates or staff.

Atlantic Voices Volume 2 Issue 2


Balkan Euro-Atlantic Aspiration and Regional Cooperation by Ilija Djugumanov and Jordan Tasev


he Balkan region, famous of its constant turbu-

operation and expedite integration into European and Euro-

lence is a part of Europe that has seen massive

Atlantic structures.

changes and transformations in the past dec-

The act of signing the Stabilization and Association Agree-

ades. Historically speaking the Balkan Region is known for being

ment of which Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro

a region with many conflicts. These conflicts were responsible

were already part, marked a step forward for relations at an

for enormous loss of life in the past. Unfortunately, these kind of

international level. It meant opening up the possibility for even-

events, only with smaller intensity, still continue even in the

tual integration in the European and Trans-Atlantic structures of

newer history of the region. The smallest such incident in the

these countries, with the strengthening of relations between

Balkans, has been shown to have the potential to raise external

governments and mutual cooperation (Regional free trade, bor-

tensions, and in more recent times, internal conflicts, which

der cooperation, suppression of corruption and organized crime,

occur even more often.

creation of electricity and gas regional markets, transport devel-

Such developments have imposed the fact that we should strengthen our efforts within this region. From this region and


opment, energy and infrastructure, as well as political and parliamentary cooperation).

from outside, we should actively encourage sincere cooperation

Nowadays, after a very long transformation, this region is

between the different nations. Otherwise, the word “Balkans” in

almost fully integrated into the EU and NATO. Already The

people’s minds will always carry negative connotations instead of

Balkans has six members in NATO.

indicating a place where peace, freedom, democracy, individual liberty, and rule of law are the core elements of society.

Five of them are also members of the European Union. There is a remainder of the countries that are not integrated and

Despite all of the prejudice and stereotypes, rivalries, mis-

each one of them is its own different case, it is in different state

understandings, the Balkans is a region that always finds the

and has different views. However, the fact remains that all of

strength to transform itself. Having all of this in mind, the Bal-

them remain committed to the Euro-Atlantic vision and to inte-

kans is still a crucial part of the Euro-Atlantic community and that is where it naturally belongs. After the fall of the Berlin wall and the changes that started in Eastern Europe, this very same process inevitably started in the Balkans and resulted with break


...the Balkan Region is known for being a region with many conflicts...The smallest such

incident in the Balkans, has been shown to have the potential to raise external tensions

up and bloodstained end of Yugoslavia. After that this

Nevertheless, the transformation



will be only be finished when the whole region is fully integrated.

region entered a process of massive transformation. Most coun-

The Balkans as a region, has always had different influ-

tries turned themselves towards closer Euro-Atlantic integra-

ences. Over the last centuries this region has witnessed shifting


alliances and partnerships. More recently, after the breakup of A vital point in the total transformation and transition for

Yugoslavia this region was guided through transition with the

this region was the “Stability Pact”. It was launched in 1999 as

help of the EU and NATO. Today it has to be said that with the

the first comprehensive conflict prevention strategy of the inter-

integration of some and the aspirations of others, this region

national community, aimed at strengthening the efforts of the

remains firmly within the sphere of the Euro-Atlantic region.

countries of South Eastern Europe in fostering peace, democra-

Despite this, historically this region belonged to the Otto-

cy, respect for human rights and economic prosperity. The Sta-

man Empire and taking this fact into account it should be noted

bility Pact provided a framework to stimulate regional co-

that today Turkey has a natural role and influence on the Bal-


Atlantic Voices Volume 2 Issue 2


kans. It has to be emphasized that the role of Turkey becomes

Russian influence in the region, and the Balkans and South East-

crucial for the Balkans especially after the fall of the communism.

ern Europe are key parts of its energy strategy towards the EU.

Turkey, also as a regional power, attaches special importance to

Its main projects are:

its relations with Balkan countries. Today’s, basic elements of Turkey’s policy towards the Balkans can be summarized as follows: developing relations to

 South Stream gas pipeline  The Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline.

the highest level with the Balkan countries, with which Turkey has historic, cultural and social ties; enhancing the exist-

...the Balkans as a region should very much remain high on Europe’s global responsibility list.

ing atmosphere of re-

It’s interesting to point out that this is a crucial time for this issue, the decision of the EU with regards to the status of Serbia will be very, very important for the region and the balance of regional influences. How much Russia will expand their influence in the wake of this

gional peace and stability; keeping open the transportation connection between Turkey and Western and Central Europe . 3

remains to be seen. Related to the all of the previously said, the personal opin-

Concerning peace and stability in the Balkans, Turkey con-

ion of the authors on this topic is that the Balkans as a region

tributes with military and security staff to the international civil

should very much remain high on Europe’s global responsibility

(UNMIK, EULEX, and EUPOL) and military missions (KFOR,

list. Taking in consideration the present situation and the chal-


lenge of the numerous problems that it is facing, problems that

Whilst discussing foreign influence it is crucial to highlight

question some of the core pillars of the idea of the United Eu-

the ever present influence of the Russian Federation within this

rope as a global factor, the Balkans has to remain a top priority.

region. Alongside this it is important to place this in the context

In today's crisis, we often hear the question of the costs of being

of the global rise of the Russian Federation. The feeling that

or not being part of the EU.

Russia will stamp its influence on the Balkans once again, is inevitable.

This very same question has to be asked about this region and in more global context, is it more cost-effective to fully

Looking more at the Russian influence it has to be noticed

integrate this region with the fact of the enormous gap in the

that in the past years there have been massive investments in the

development and standards, or is it worth taking the risk to al-

energy field. Russian energy interests is a key means enhancing

low the region to enter into new turmoil which inevitably will

Figure 1: Partnership for Peace Programme start date by country. (Source:

have effects on the Euro-Atlantic region as a whole. From this perspective the Euro-Atlantic region has to be more dynamic and more flexible to answer the challenges and





Bosnia and Herzegovina




early 1990s with its first major peace–support operation. Ever



since then the dynamics and diversity of operations have been



increased. It was during this time that the countries of the Bal-







the Partnership for Peace (PfP)4 program that NATO applied. It



is clear that this program has made a major impact on the devel-

Atlantic Voices Volume 2 Issue 2

the changes that are in front of it. NATO – BALKANS NATO’s active engagement with the Balkans began in the

kans had their first chance to see what NATO is and what NATO can bring to the region with its own capacities and capabilities. The other major point for the process of integration was


opment of this region.

security and stability.

The Partnership for Peace (PfP) is a programme of practi-

 The Euro-Atlantic integration of the Western Balkans, with the

cal bilateral cooperation between individual Euro-Atlantic part-

aim to ensure lasting peace and stability based on democratic

ner countries and NATO. It allows partners to build up an indi-

values, regional cooperation and good neighborly relations.

vidual relationship with NATO, choosing their own priorities for cooperation.

Looking how the countries respond it has to be pointed out

The essence of the PfP program is a partnership formed

their active engagement to the NATO led operations. Specifical-

individually between each Euro-Atlantic partner and NATO,

ly talking about the ISAF mission in Afghanistan we will present

tailored to individual needs and jointly implemented at the level

some statistics for the active contribution in the past and in the

and pace chosen by each participating government.


Every country agreed on the program individually and in different time. This can be seen in figure 1:

After looking at these facts we must highlight that sending troops from the Balkans and Europe itself shows that they play

Fully aware of the desire of the countries to completely

vital role in Afghanistan. This fact is sometimes neglected from

integrated we have to give notice to the stance of NATO to-

the viewpoint of US stake-holders and the media who often

wards this question, and this is very clearly stated in the new

shape the perceptions of the broader public.

Strategic Concept5:

With the recent developments in the Arab world and the new security challenges the integration of the Balkans has slowed

 NATO’s enlargement has contributed substantially to the securi-

down. In context of this NATO has to show leadership and deny

ty of Allies; the prospect of further enlargement and the spirit of

the risk of local politicians taking advantage and abusing the pre-

cooperative security have advanced stability in Europe more

sent situation, when they argue that the Alliance is the reason

broadly. Our goal of a Europe whole and free, and sharing

why the countries are not integrated, in order to fulfill their own

common values, would be best served by the eventual integration

ambitions. Integration into Euro-Atlantic organizations is crucial

of all European countries that so desire into Euro-Atlantic struc-

for the stabilization and development of the region.


On one hand, EU and NATO have invested considerable

 The door to NATO membership remains fully open to all Europe-

resources for various forms of support in the region and further

an democracies which share the values of our Alliance, which are

reaffirmed its commitment to expand. On the other hand, non-

willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of

integration involves significant negative political and economic

membership, and whose inclusion can contribute to common

impact on affected countries and future negative impact on Euro-

Source and Owner/Caption: ….. (if applicable) Is this the image of NATO and the Balkans that the public still perceives?

Atlantic Voices Volume 2 Issue 2


Figure 2: NATO ISAF Contributions by Country (Source: ISO COUNTRY Code

Recognized as TCN since

Current Troop Contrib.

Presence in Afghanistan

OMLT contrib.

POMLT contrib.


ANA Trust NATO EquipFund ment Donation Programme




24 July 2003


Regional Command Capital Regional Command West









16 March 2009


Regional Command North









24 July 2003


Regional Command Capital Regional Command West





50 mortars, ~21 million rounds of small arms ammunition, 500 binoculars




24 July 2003


Regional Command Capital Regional Command North









July 24 2003


Kabul International Airport (KAIA) Compound




Macedonia 24 July 2003


Regional Command Capital








Montenegro 24 February 2010


Regional Command North











60 mortars, ~10,000 small arms, and ~2.2 million rounds of ammunition


Lead €1,500,000 24 howitzers, Wardak ammunition, Lead clothing, equipJawzjan ment and academy supplies




24 July 2003


Regional Command Capital Regional Command South: Zabul





24 July 2003


Regional Command Capital Regional Command West





24 July 2003


Regional Command Capital



Atlantic Voices Volume 2 Issue 2





pean security. Talking about the present situation and the heavy financial crisis that remains, it has to be said that this issue has already affected security budgets disproportionately. In NATO, the European partners contribute 20% of the total NATO budget. In 1991 that participation was one third of the total budget; this alone speaks for the drastic changes. The big cuts in the military budgets and the emergence of the Smart

1 The Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe - EU's initiative adopted by more than 40 partner countries and organisations in Cologne on June 10 th 1999. The Pact was reaffirmed at a summit meeting in Sarajevo on 30 July 1999. 2 Stabilization and Association Agreement constitute framework of relations between the European Union and the Western Balkan countries for implementation of the stabilization and association process. 3 Foreign Policy. Relations with the Balkan Region / Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Foreign Affairs <>.

The Partnership for Peace (PfP). NATO-led program, launched at the 1994 Brussels Summit, to improve security cooperation between NATO and Partner countries in Central and Eastern Europe. It focuses on building stronger political and military interactions, and increasing NATO interoperability. < topics_50349.htm>. 4

[Smart Defence] If properly applied and implemented it will also significantly benefit the region long after the current crisis is over ...

Defence concept may yet be the blessing in disguise that this region emphatically needed.

Strategic Concept for the Defense and Security, Adopted by Heads of State and Government at the NATO Summit in Lisbon, 19th â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 20th November 2010.< topics_82705.htm>. 5

This concept will be only positive for this region. Not only in the perspective of efficient military spending, but this will bring to light increased and emphasized cooperation that inevitably will transform and will be passed on in lot of other sectors. At this point we have to conclude that this region still faces very big challenges. But these challenges are inevitable if the region is to continue with the very healthy process of integration, cooperation and progress. As part of the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia it was always natural for us to work in regional context and see things in broader spectrum and for us it is crucial that our goals remain very clear, working towards Euro -Atlantic integration. The feeling that this region remains dedicated to integration is very strong, and it is recognized locally that this is an ongoing process. The only conclusion that can be drawn from this discussion is that this region remains devoted to the Euro-Atlantic region, where it naturally belongs. As a recommendation for the further activities in working towards integration the primary focus should be on the Smart Defence concept. This concept is the perfect stepping stone for the Balkans, it has to be put as a number one priority because it will show that NATO with its own capacities is capable to make reforms that are positive for every member and every partner country, and is of benefit to the region. If properly applied and implemented it will also significantly benefit the region long after the current crisis is over and the integration process is com-

The views expressed in this article are entirely those of the author. They


do not necessarily represent the views of the Atlantic Treaty Association, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s members, affiliates or staff.

Atlantic Voices Volume 2 Issue 2


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Atlantic Voices - Vol. 2 no. 2  

The fifth issue of the Atlantic Treaty Association's publication Atlantic Voices. This issue examines the Balkans and its future with regard...

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