Balkan Perspectives – Adapting the partnership and integration paths
Rome – May 16, 2019
KFOR, now entering its second decade, has been the longest and the most successful stabilisation mission of NATO since the end of the Cold War. Yet, while peace is a tangible benefit for the Balkans, Euro-Atlantic integration and NATO partnerships have to face complex regional and national politics.
A quick look at the area shows the current conundrum: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo risk to be an unfinished job; two NATO members – Albania and Montenegro – are experiencing some rough political moment and North Macedonia has to face the nitty gritty of overcoming past legacies. Cooperative security has been essential in tackling FYROM’s last transitional crisis, but regional realities require a more multifaceted approach to confront consolidated problems like organised crime, trafficking of human being, corruption, energy security of supply and terrorism.
The conference will be structured into three panels.
The first panel will outline the setbacks facing the Balkans in terms of democratic and economic progress, as well as in terms of hybrid internal and external threats. It will further discuss how regional societies and governments, assisted by the international community’s tools – among the others, by NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) -, could deal with such challenges.
The second one aims at addressing the Balkan scenario from the wider perspective of EU/NATO integration, which remains the main vehicle towards the achievement of a regional balance, even though the accession prospect does not seem sufficient to address all local shortcomings.
The third will discuss the need to better coordinate common resources and efforts to address regional challenges and strengthen the stability and security of the area.