Dark Histories, Brighter Futures? The Balkans and Black Sea Region: European Union Frontiers, War Crimes and Confronting the Past

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  • This article was downloaded by: [University of Connecticut]On: 29 October 2014, At: 01:04Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

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    Dark Histories, Brighter Futures?The Balkans and Black Sea Region:European Union Frontiers, War Crimesand Confronting the PastJames GowPublished online: 05 Sep 2007.

    To cite this article: James Gow (2007) Dark Histories, Brighter Futures? The Balkans and Black SeaRegion: European Union Frontiers, War Crimes and Confronting the Past, Southeast European andBlack Sea Studies, 7:3, 345-355, DOI: 10.1080/14683850701565700

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  • Southeast European and Black Sea StudiesVol. 7, No. 3, September 2007, pp. 345355

    ISSN 14683857 (print)/ISSN 17439639 (online) 2007 Taylor & FrancisDOI: 10.1080/14683850701565700

    Introduction

    Dark Histories, Brighter Futures? The Balkans and Black Sea Region: European Union Frontiers, War Crimes and Confronting the PastJames Gow

    Taylor and Francis LtdFBSS_A_256427.sgm10.1080/14683850701565700Southeast European and Black Sea Studies1468-3857 (print)/1743-9639 (online)Original Article2007Taylor & Francis73000000September 2007Professor JamesGowjames.gow@kcl.ac.uk

    When Romania and Bulgaria acceded to the European Union (EU) in 2007, theyformed a cordon connecting Greece physically with the remainder of the Union for thefirst time, while either side of that cordon lay the frontier lands of the Unions NewNeighbourhood (EC n.d.):1 the range of countries spanning the western Balkans andthe Black Sea, where the underlying strategic logic of the Union, partnership andenlargement, will find their next challenges. The territories stretching from the easternedges of the Adriatic Sea across to the countries bordering the eastern coast of the BlackSea constitute a significant part of the EUs new neighbourhood. At the same time,those lands are marked by a peculiar shared history of challenged statehood, war and,above all, atrocity. As the EU has been instrumental in, or a function of, addressing andovercoming the legacies of war, it should be well placed to encourage similar develop-ments in the Balkan and Black Sea region via the prospect of association with the Union.Certainly, there can be no prospect that any of the countries of the Balkan and BlackSea region will be eligible for membership of the Union if the legacy of war and atrocity,particularly in the recent past, continues to cast a shadow. Thus, there is an intersectionbetween the issues of peace and justice in the broad northeast Mediterranean region,and the security policy requirements already emerging for the EU in that region.

    The Balkan and Black Sea New Neighbourhood will be at the heart of debates onfuture enlargement at, or immediately following, a time when the very nature of theUnion, its future direction and, particularly, further enlargement face a critical junc-ture following the rejection of the proposed EU Constitutional Treaty in referendumsin France and the Netherlands. While technically rejections of the Constitution, these

    Correspondence to: James Gow, Department of War Studies, Kings College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS,UK. E-mail: james.gow@kcl.ac.uk

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    votes were widely interpreted as general dissatisfaction with developments in theUnion, including the prospect of enlargement to include Turkey, following agreementto open accession talks with Ankara in 2004. The logic of the EU entails some form offuture enlargement to spread security and stability in order to preserve the zone ofsecurity and stability on which existing members of the Union depend. At the sametime, both as a matter of substance and as a possible pretext for those seeking to blockenlargement for other reasons, the record of atrocity and absence of contrition andreconciliation, let alone continuing unresolved conflicts, would be an obstacle toenlargement. There will be a dilemma for the Union. It will need to continue the pathof using its influence and the prospect of membership to encourage further securityand stability at its borders necessary to the prosperity of the EU; yet, in doing so it willcreate a new range of potential candidate countries. Once it does this, it will face inter-nal resistance to further enlargement. The war crimes legacy in the Balkan and BlackSea region will be a pivotal feature in those discussions and debates.

    There are two planks on which the proposed study is based therefore. The first is theassumption that the logic of the EUs strategic development means further enlargementand partnership, widening the zone of peace and stability that the EU has been instru-mental in creating and which it needs for its security and future evolution. The secondis that there is a broad northeast Mediterranean, southeast European, Balkan and BlackSea zone that is the EUs New Neighbourhood, but the history of which is characterisedby atrocity and war crimesa legacy that will need to be addressed before substantiveprogress on partnership or membership can be made. These issues are addressed in thefollowing sections.

    Partnership, Engagement and Stability

    Partnership and engagement developed successfully to stabilise the European continentduring the 1990s. The EUs New Neighbourhood Policy was introduced in May 2004(EC n.d.; Samson n.d.).2 The following December, the European Commissionannounced action plans for closer ties with seven new neighbours. These countrieswere Ukraine, Moldova, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and the Palestinian Authority.However, the immediate issues that prompted this first round of candidates for EUattention did not mean that others would not follow. Already, in March 2005, theCommission issued country reports on Egypt and Lebanon, as well as Armenia,Azerbaijan and Georgia. And for some years before this, the EU had been involved withthe countries of the Western Balkans, as the former Yugoslav lands minus Slovenia plusAlbania had come to be known. While these were not formally associated with theNeighbourhood Policy, it was clear that, in practice, they had already been subject tothe same kind of EU policy over the years. While some of the New Neighbourhood coun-tries were on the southern and eastern littorals of the Mediterranean Sea, suggesting thatthe scope for EU development was extensive, the others were around the Black Sea. And,while the other countries represented an entirely new phase of EU policy developmentand relationships, the Black Sea countries, along with the Balkan ones, were in the frontline of an evolutionary process that had seen the EUs being instrumental in fostering

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    and engineering post-communist transition in Central and Eastern Europe. Thenext waves in that process were destined to cover the Balkans and the Black Sea, whichwere split by the isthmus of Bulgaria and Romania, when those countries joined theUnion.

    Partnership and enlargement approaches, policies and patterns developed duringthe 1990s as the EU, NATO and their member states sought to stabilise and embracethe former communist parts of the European continent. While NATO was assumedinitially to be in the background on approaches to Central and East Europe, from 1994onwards, its Partnership for Peace Programme became the leading element in forgingnew relations with the countries of that region. By 1997, when NATO was ready toinvite three countries (Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic) to join it in a firstwave of post-Cold War enlargement, the EU too was rapidly developing partnershipsand associations throughout the region and announced its own longer list of inviteesto begin negotiations on eventual accession to the Union. Since then, further waves ofenlargement, accompanied by expansion of partnership approaches, have placed bothNATO and the EU at the heart of a logic that, in the EUs case, could almost only resultin the New Neighbourhood Policy. However, the challenges ahead were stronger thanmost of those already faced.

    South Eastern Europe presented the biggest challenge, where, to begin with, partner-ship was central not only to EU policy, but also to NATOs achieving success in itsmajor peace implementation operations in the Western Balkans. The measure ofNATOs success will not be withdrawal. NATO is not going to withdraw; it could notafford to do sonor could the EU. The point will come when the commitment istransformed from being one of peace implementation, prepared to act against partiesobstructing the peace process or stepping out of line, to one of partnership. This isexactly in line with the whole thrust of NATO since the early 1990s. It would be ageneral benefit if the key mission of the EU were to bring in the war-affected countriesof South Eastern Europe and make them partners, worthy collaborators, rather thanrecalcitrant, awkward, challenging recidivists.

    In Kosovo, as in Bosnia and Hercegovina, this means a 15-year program that wouldcome to include partnership activities with NATO and its members aimed atstrengthening relations with the Alliance. Thus, Alliance engagement in Bosnia andHercegovina and in Kosovo had to include the prospect of cooperation throughPartnership for Peace (PfP), the Euroatlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) and evenpotential membership. To facilitate this activity, moreover, a commitment wasneeded to create the conditions for prosperity and the possibility of a normal life forthe people of South Eastern Europe. This activity would be central to the develop-ment of the Alliance over the first decade and a half of the twenty-first century.It would be a manifestation of NATOs future. And it was likely to be replicated inother parts of the world including Afghanistan, where a commitment was made in2003, and, at later stages, quite likely the Middle East.

    NATOs mission to create peace in South Eastern Europe has had two importantaspects about which it is important to have a clear and correct understanding. First,engagement in South Eastern Europe has not been NATOs only mission since the end

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    of the Cold War; no one should underestimate the importance of PfP in terms of secu-rity and stability in Europe as it developed though the 1990s and was then enhanced byEAPC. Without PfP, there could have been other Croatias and Bosnias in other partsof Europefor example, it might well be that it was PfP, in conjunction with otheraspects of international action, that saved, say, Estonia and Latvia, with many compa-rable conditions from a similar fate in the mid-1990s. The role played in this contextby PfP should not be underestimated because it brought NATO and EU armedforcesand with them a political-security connectioninto a relationship with thosecountries that had a stabilising effect. This as well as complementary activities of theOSCE and especially the EU at the time all helped to foster stability in what was anuncertain situation.

    Having identified the Baltic States as a special case and a test in terms of relationswith Russia, and with the Baltic States pressing for membership, it was necessary toaddress the Baltic question in some way. Yet, immediate accession would not be popu-lar with many allies, given the position regarding Russia. In principle, there could be noreason not to include the Baltic States. After all, if Russia had ill intention towardsthem, it would be the right thing to do. Yet, if Russia were well disposed towards Tallin,Riga and Vilnius, it could not, in the end, do any harm or make any difference if theywere to join the Alliance. Of course, the reality was that Russia objected and that manyof the existing members remained reluctant to adopt a measure that might be taken asdeeply provocative in Moscow. In terms of defence, this made little real difference asNATO engagement in the Baltic States through partner initiatives made the prospectof direct Russian intervention unrealistic, although it provoked Russian counter-engagement and, in the longer term, might be a source of tension for the Alliance.Despite its relative weakness in the 1990s, Russia remained a major military power anda potential threat. Partnership possibly offered more in the way of actual defensivecapability than being a signatory to a treaty.

    If the Baltics were a special case, Ukraine is a particular challenge for partnership.It is the one country regarded as being large and important, requiring attention, butfor which no defined approach has been found. Ukraines relationship to Russiacannot be ignored, but that relationship should not dominate understanding andinterpretation of Ukraine and its position. It is a big country, one that really ought tobe like France or Germany, in terms of its size, human resources, communications,and agricultural and industrial capacity (albeit with a need to modernise). It is one ofthe greatest failures of the post-Cold War era that neither the Ukrainians themselvesnor outsiders wereor appeared likely to beable to turn the country round andnurture its potential. The Orange Revolution at the end of 2004 created new hope, butthere was a long way to travel to make up for lost ground. There is reason to treatUkraine in a special way, augmented by the prospect that the Orange Revolution canoffer a bright future. Special treatment is something Ukraine recognises in itsdemands, but until the end of 2004 had done little to justify, causing considerable frus-tration among EU and NATO representatives. It may well be that only an explicitpromise of eventual membership of the EU or NATO, if Ukraine fulfils the appropri-ate criteria, will be enough to spur Kiev on to achieve objectives that are more or less

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    agreed across the political spectrum. While there are Soviet sympathies in segmentsof the population and while the integrated Soviet legacy in some respects (notablyeconomic) cannot be overlooked and also, while Moscow sometimes casts the posses-sive shadow of a jilted lover (making Kiev uncomfortable), these elements cannot betaken to define Ukraine. Ukraines underlying orientation is towards the West andtowards Europe, even where some legacies of the Soviet era remain and some elementspolitically and socially still turn more to Russia. It is clear that eastward enlargement ofEU and NATO Europe will find a frontier with Ukraine that cannot become a barrier.Thus, there will be no alternative to embracing Kiev and seeking to assure its future asan insider-outsider. Perhaps just as NATO established a special relationship withUkraine, the EU might arrange a particular partnership arrangement rather than justwhatever kind of Partnership and Cooperation Agreement there might be already. It islikely that more than existing arrangements would be required to accommodateUkraines singular status, even though senior figures in Kiev may be reconciled to therealities of this in-between status for some time to come.

    With a Black Sea littoral, as well as regional tentacles, Russia cannot be ignored as animportant actor in a number of contextsnotably the major conflict in the Caucasusin Chechnya, which casts a shadow over the wider region. This means significant spacefor the EU to develop relations with Russia, but also a major challenge to the EUsneed for stability and security in the wider regiona region in which increasingly EUMember States and the United States have found themselves in quiet competitionwith Russia at the same time as striving to find ways in which to work as partners. TheIslamist attacks on New York and Virginia provided an immediate and somewhat revo-lutionary catalyst not only in American perceptions of the world, but crucially in therelationship with Moscow. Primarily in the intelligence sphere, there was a break-through in contacts and sharing of information between Moscow and Washington.This put the focus back more than ever on the American-Russian relationship, withNATO a notable context for that relationship and having some significance in terms ofthe NATO-Russia Council (but even that was seen by Moscow, in a sense, as a bilateralrelationship, not as 19 + 1). As a consequence, especially in the absence of any partic-ular, meaningful or coherent EU policy towards Russia, Brussels became relativelyunimportant for Russia, leaving a major strategic hole for the EU and perhaps also forMoscow. Yet, if the EU were to deepen and develop its Security Policy, a strategic part-nership with Russia or at least a strategic initiative towards it would be neededandsomething of this kind would be required simply to deal with relationship across newEU-Russia borders established by enlargement. Certainly, some initiative to addressthe conflict in Chechnya and its regional repercussions will be needed, even though itwill be hard to achieve significant success.

    EU engagement in the Caucasus complemented any American or NATO militaryinitiatives there and, to a lesser extent, Central Asia. Georgia was, perhaps, the largelyunnoticed signifier for both NATO and EU security policy into the future, especiallyin terms of relations with Russia. At the time of writing, there has been implicitcompetition between some Western countries (whether EU or NATO) and theRussian Federationand possibly other actors in Georgia. This is an issue relevant to

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    future energy and resource questions for all involved. Until the American commit-ment to train Georgian troops to hunt al-Qaida linked groups said to be in the coun-try associated with Chechen armed groups already pursued in violation of Georgiassovereignty by Russian forces, former Soviet states of this kind were regarded as withinRussias sphere of influence and hegemony. This was punctured by the arrival ofAmerican troops.

    The arrival of 290 American military personnel in Georgia at the end of February2002 to provide training and assistance was a significant marker regarding the bound-aries of European and international security. It broke a taboo: troops from a NATOcountry were trespassing on the ghost of the Soviet Union and the shadow of itsRussian successor. Breaking this taboo was an outrage to many in Russia, with ideas ofMoscows near abroad infringedalthough President Vladimir Putin showed greatercool and diplomacy than others in Moscow by welcoming the initiative to temperinternational Islamist terrorism, thus giving the signal to others over what should bethe party line. There was little prospect of disengagement by the United States; rather,this was the initial step of likely increasing NATO and EU involvement in Georgia,given that a Western presence would continue and that to continue, it would inevitablyneed to grow in order to support itself.

    This involves a fairly simple strategic logic: if cooperation between American andRussian forces emerged in Georgia, then engagement would need to continue andbe enhanced, including through involvement of other Allies and Partners, as well ascomplementary measures by the EU, to ensure that a positive relationship wascemented; and if there were to be competition, then equally, there would be an imper-ative to remain engaged, not to concede the Western interest in Georgian security andreturn to the status quo ante, which would be regarded as a victory for forces in Moscowhostile to good relations with the West. The mission against international terrorismwas also, it must be recognised, part of the underlying competition between Moscowand Western capitals over the fate, status and ultimately security and stability of coun-tries lying beyond the boundaries of the Western organizational sphere. That sphere,defined primarily by NATO and the EU, even after enlargement in the first decade ofthe twenty-first century, would not necessarily stretch so far as Tblisi, the Georgiancapital. However, there would ultimately have to be limits of some kind to Euroatlanticenlargement, but when those limits were clear, there would still be a need to fosterconditions of peace, security and stability beyond them.

    Georgia might appear to be that little bit too far beyond the borders of EU and NATOenlargement to be an immediate focus for frontier and stability issueseven with anunderstanding that frontiers will inevitably be fuzzy, in some way. Yet, there is a needto think several steps ahead to whichever one it is that embraces Georgia and its neigh-bours. The logic of Western security needs, which has driven the record of partnershipand enlargement, confirms that there is no alternative to moving in the direction offurther investment, engagement, partnership and even, eventually, enlargement. Thisplays into a range of issues concerning the nature of security and stability across thewhole of the European sphere. The limits of that sphere (i.e., the boundaries of theWest) are not, as noted elsewhere, constituted by any geographical points, but are

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    focused around the spread of values and almost certainly the emergence of a securitycommunity must be based around those values.

    This logic extends beyond boundaries of NATO and the EU. In North Africa, ofcourse, despite the pressures on it, attempting to maintain a hard border of this kind iseasier (although it is not welcome to say so) because of the European-Arab divide andimplicit racism. Even so, there must be doubts over how sustainable such a border is inthe long term. There must even be a question, in the very long term, over whether thelogic of the EU is for parts, or even the whole, of North Africa to join, one day. Indeed,Morocco, reflecting the logic of the situation regarding the Spanish sovereign territo-ries, as well as its generally pro-Western pro-European position has raised this possi-bility, but has received no encouragement, as yet, from the EU. If the initial rational forthe creation of the Union and for its subsequent enlargement in terms of inclusion andsecurity are followed, there is an underlying strategic logic that suggests Moroccanaccession and possibly that of other North African countries at some point. The pres-ence of Spains sovereign territories on the North African coast lends the centraldynamic here; although, as the inclusion of Cyprus and Malta in 2004, as well as theexisting membership of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, in the Union,indicates that the presence of a sea does not disturb the logic of enlargement.

    The strategic and security rationales that underpin both the EU and its enlargementindicate that the EU might have to devise its own equivalent to NATOs PfP, while thatprogramme itself may have to be extended beyond the OSCE region (EU n.d.).3 Thiswould need to be an in-between arrangement that fosters stability by creating a frame-work for outsiders who wish to have a closer relationship and for whom the partnershiparrangement will make them feel that little bit nearer to being insiders. The essence isto create a partnership arrangement that serves to turn the EU inside out by bringingthe outside at least part of the way in. And that which applies in Europe, for the coun-tries and organisations there, might equally apply in other parts of the worldforexample, in Asia, in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and other Western-oriented coun-tries with a vested interest in promoting stability through partnership.

    The Balkan and Black Sea Region: Addressing Atrocity

    The initial spark for the present collection came from Charles Kings fine book on theBlack Sea and two curious-seeming failings of an otherwise excellent volume: notaddressing the peculiar history of atrocity and not seeing the likely imminent emer-gence of a salient security region (King 2004). The puff quotation from Orlando Figeson the books jacket is both testimony to its quality and yet fails to do the book justicein saying that the book is a masterful account of the ever-changing trade between thepeoples and powers of this crucial waterway. It is absolutely right that the book doesthis, but it goes beyond trade and embraces the various realms of culture, politics, soci-ety, war, geography and the environment, as well, of course, as creating an integratedhistory of a region that both is and is not one as such. Charles King perhaps indicatesas much at the end of the book when he looks at the experience of the Black SeaEconomic Community (BSEC), created in the 1990s, following an initiative by the

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    Turkish government. Although that body had developed by the start of the twenty-firstcentury to have a permanent organization and parliamentary association, its only realachievement otherwise was shared study, concern and approaches to the environmen-tal issues that had emerged to kill the sea in the second half of the twentieth century.This achievement, in itself, was significant, but it was limited. And with other develop-ments, such as the building of oil pipelines from the Caspian Sea, more likely than not,in Kings judgement, to have a limited economic or political impact given that most ofthe Black Seas ports will be by-passed, then the prospects for real development, heargues, are limited. Outward migration from the littoral might be expected, though thesea and its multicultural and multi-ethnic traditions will live on, he suggests (as they doalready) wherever that migration leads the peoples of the eleven countries along thecoastline. And, of course, there will always be some who remain to live and work onand by the sea.

    This conclusion is a little disappointing, even if its sombre character fits with muchof the immediate evidence at the end of this consummate history. It is also maybe alittle misplaced, if one considers not so much the trajectory of the past as that of thefuture. The historians sound conclusion might have benefited from the glance of thesecurity policy analyst. In that way, the very importance of undertaking this first realhistorical survey of the Black Sea as a region would have been marked and the merit inthe book really demonstrated. In a sense, Kings book is potentially far more significantthan his conclusion allows it to be, for the factors that lead him to conclude that some-thing like the end of a historical phase might have arrived are precisely those, it seemsto me, that create the imperatives for further development and a regional future. Theseare the processes of NATO and EU partnership and enlargement that began in the1990s. These have an inherent logic towards continuing enlargement, but the scope ofthat enlargement is likely to engender just the kind of regional cooperation and identitywithin a Europe of regions, partnerships and alliances that Charles King sees the BSEChaving failed to accomplish because of the greater prizes and real issues attached tojoining NATO and the EU. That is why Kings book is not only so good, but important.It gives a past to something that has a future, where the shared elements of that pasthave not generally been perceived in the pastwhether these are the bonds of tradeand migration, navigation and preservation of eco-culture, or the northsouth securitystand-off across the sea between one version or another of Russia and Turkey that waspresent over hundreds of years.

    To have concentrated, thus far, on the conclusion to emphasise how important thisbook is perhaps offers a disservice to the rest of it. It is not the first book writtenconcerning the Black Sea, but it has no real competitor because no other volume hasbravely taken on the mission to create a single, whole integrated historical survey. Indoing so, it embraces the whole body of existing literature in different fields. I canonly presume that in undertaking this ambitious task there may be questionabledetails that a narrow specialist, for example, in any particular area might recognise,but these cannot in any sense genuinely impair the achievement here. The fascinatingdetail that is integrated more than outweighs any possible small failing. The curious,dark character of the sea itself is both empirically important, but also in some ways, I

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    find, an implicit image for the character of this region. Only the upper 10 per cent ofthe sea itself supports life; the lower 90 per cent comprising life-denying hydrogensulphidea noxious compound. The sea itself is fed by so many freshwater riversthat its salinity is weakand yet that salinity is maintained (and flooding is alsoavoided) by the interaction of dual currents than run against each other through theBosphorous to and from the eastern Mediterranean, determined by their specificgravity. These physical peculiarities seem to be reflected in the life on and aroundthe sea.

    The relationship with the Mediterranean is important. At times there seems to be astrong case for seeing the Black Sea region as part of a wider Mediterranean areasomething that might reflect on the inspiration for King in writing the present study:Fernand Braudels work on the Mediterranean Sea as a region of culture and trade(Braudel 2002). However, King also refers to what can be called the wider South East-ern Europe, at times. This reflects how so much of the character and history of theBlack Sea littoral is shared with that of the North Eastern Mediterranean-cum-SouthEastern Europe. In this context, the one thing that strikes me as missing in this historyof the Black Sea is focused attention on the prevalence of atrocity in the history of theregion. To be sure, there is indeed mention of massacres, forced migration and humanmisery brought on by war and political fiat, but it seems to me that the seemingly pecu-liar and shared characteristics of the broader region in this respect might have deservedspecific attention as a phenomenon. It is certainly a factor that, particularly in its morerecent manifestations, will need to be addressed in the context of the developing rela-tions with the EU and NATO that some of the Black Sea countries will have in thetwenty-first century. They will also have to be addressed somehow, independently ofthis, where the weak states of the regionwhich King notes as a phenomenonaugmented by what, elsewhere in the this special issue, Dov Lynch calls de facto state-hoodfind ways to overcome the legacy of conflict marked by atrocity and forcedmigration.4

    The problems facing the Black Sea countries to the east of Romania and Bulgariaare shared by those to the west: Serbia, including Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro,Albania, Bosnia and Hercegovina, and Croatia. The very same sets of issues apply: chal-lenged sovereigns and de facto statehood, and a legacy of conflict and war crimes.Croatia has already begun talks on association with the Union, but those talks wereonce interrupted over the failure to meet a 17 March 2005 deadline to cooperate withthe international community over its own war crimes legacynamely to arrange thetransfer of General Ante Gotovina to the International Criminal Tribunal for theformer Yugoslavia in The Hague. What applied to Croatia, the country most advancedin its relations with the EU, applies equally and perhaps more in other cases. While notall cases west of the new EU corridor into and out of the Balkan Mountains weresubject to demands of cooperation with the Tribunal, all were implicated in the needto resolve lingering statehood issues, and the resolution of those issues, in turn,required atrocities of the recent and, perhaps not-so-recent, past to be addressed aspart of a security-building process. This meant that the conditions for avoiding areturn to armed hostilities at some stage, essential to the EU, had to be achieved. That

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    involved ensuring that no passions of injustice and dissatisfaction likely to result in areturn war and intercommunal mass murder, or even to lingering grudges, werepresent.

    It cannot be the purpose of the present collection of analyses either comprehen-sively to cover and resolve all the issues at stake in all the cases across the EUs Balkanand Black Sea neighbourhood, or to resolve those issues. The aim is, therefore, toexplore aspects that might be necessary to confronting the past and the legacy ofconflict, atrocity and war crimes it begets. We examine a selection of cases and issuesthat foster further understanding (whether historical, conceptual or policy-related)that can inform appreciation of the broad northeastern Mediterranean region. Thismight also be a basis for future evaluation of agendas and progress on them concern-ing stability and security along and beyond the EUs new frontiers. By developingknowledge and understanding of the EUs New Neighbourhood, the analyses here arealso small building blocks along the way to the EUs prospective next near neighbour-hood: the wider Middle East, which will intersect with the other New Neighbourhoodcountries not addressed in this study, but in another regionNorth Africa, or theMaghreb.5

    Acknowledgements

    This article introduces a collection of studies linked to the work of the War CrimesResearch Group (WCRG) at Kings College London, which provided critical and eval-uative support for it. A number of the authors are members of the group (see http://www.kcl.ac.uk/despsta/war/researchgroups/wcrg). Others have previous or currentassociation with the WCRG, or the Department of War Studies at Kings. While thearticles do notand cannotrepresent a comprehensive assessment of the record ofatrocity and conflict in the broad region identified in this article and treated through-out the special issuethe legacy of conflict and war crimes in that region, and theresponses to that record and legacythey are a set of relevant analyses of one of thesethemes or another. This is in line with the invitation to authors to address some aspectof the legacy of past conflict and atrocity in the region in the context of EU partnershipand enlargement. The collection is possible only with the crucial support that also camefrom the seven anonymous peer reviewers, who deserve the thanks of all involved forcritically reading the draft articleswith particular note due to the one reviewer whoread and commented on all the articles to ensure a consistent overview.

    Notes1.[1] Neighbourhood is used here to refer to the physical-political neighbourhood of the EU,

    including the countries of the Western Balkans, which are not covered as part of the policy,but separately under programmes of Stability and Association Agreements, geared towardspotential membership of the Union. However, while in a different category politically andpractically for Brussels, in effect, they share a place with the countries to the north and east ofthe Black Sea and elsewhere, covered by the Neighbourhood Policy, which is their relation-ship with the EU and its logic of partnership and inclusion.

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  • Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 3552.[2] On the evolution of partnership policies, see Gow (2005), and on the evolution of Neighbour-

    hood thinking, in particular, see Danreuther (2004).3.[3] While not wholly inconsistent with the multifaceted political-military approach laid out in the

    EUs strategy document A Secure Europe in a Better World (EU 2003: 12).4.[4] All of this, of course, is once more to underscore just how important is Charles Kings history

    (King 2004). It is to be hoped that there will be others that engage with it, but it is testimony tothe quality of this book that, whatever that engagement holds, it will stand strong.

    5.[5] The other part of the EUs New Neighbourhood would be a suitable case for a complemen-tary study to the present collection, although the specific issues are differentin particular,the record of atrocity is not comparable, even if there are some similar statehood questions.

    References

    Braudel, F. Memory and the Mediterranean. New York: Vintage, 2002.Danreuther, R., ed. European Foreign and Security Policy: Towards a Neighbourhood Strategy.

    London: Routledge, 2004.European Community (EC). European Neighbourhood Policy, n.d. Available from http://

    ec.europa.eu/world/enp/index_en.htm; INTERNET.European Union (EU). A Secure Europe in a Better World. Paris: EU Institute of Security Studies,

    2003.Gow, J. Defending the West. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2005.King, C. The Black Sea: A History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.Samson, I. The New Neighbourhood Policy: Which EU Policy towards the New Neighbours?, n.d.

    Available from http://www.oefz.at/fr/Vilnius_04/Interventions/Samson.pdf; INTERNET.

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