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Western Balkans in the Global (Dis)order: Common Approach to Regional Instability and External Threats

October 12, 2023 by BSC0


The third panel of the day, ˝Western Balkans in the Global (Dis)order: Common Approach to Regional Instability and External Threats˝, was moderated by Simonida Kacarska, the Director of the European Policy Institute. The panelists discussed the position and situation of the Western Balkan in the current atmosphere of high tensions and potential instability in this region.


H.E. Christopher R. Hill, Ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of Serbia emphasized that the USA was being very supportive of what the EU was doing in the region. “Balkans is a fundamental piece of the puzzle of security architecture”. Furthermore, he pointed out that the fundamental challenge in reducing tensions in the Western Balkans was understanding the other side. He highlighted that if the aim was for Serbia and Kosovo to agree on something, they need to stop looking at their relations as a zero-sum game. Finally, Ambassador Hill noted that a number of regional initiatives were a good example of the willingness of the countries in the region to move forward toward the EU.



Manuel Sarrazin, German Federal Government Special Representative for the Countries of the Western Balkans, said that the war in Ukraine would be more decisive for the future of the Western Balkans, than vice-versa. He also underlined that the location of the region on the map was very indicative – who could believe in the future of the EU in general if it cannot deliver in Sarajevo. In the end, Sarrazin reminded that the region was not delivering its promises on time, i.e. the new government in Montenegro has been pending for months, and North Macedonia is unable to go through constitutional reform.



Adrian Davidoiu, Special Representative for the Western Balkans, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, highlighted that there were some underlying issues based on ethnic principles and that if we want the region of Western Balkans to go further, we have to see how to turn identity issues into a win-win situation. Davidoiu reminded us that the institutional framework exists, but the international system is under big pressure; in that process, the Western Balkans should be on the right side.



József Pandur, Political Advisor to the EUSR for Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and other Western Balkans Regional Issues, pointed out that it was necessary to implement the Brussels Agreement, instead of returning to crisis management in Kosovo. To be able to implement the Agreement, we first must know what happened on September 24th in northern Kosovo.



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