southeastern europe and the european union

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  • This article was downloaded by: [University of Chicago Library]On: 20 November 2014, At: 14:18Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number:1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street,London W1T 3JH, UK

    Southeast European andBlack Sea StudiesPublication details, including instructions forauthors and subscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/fbss20

    Southeastern Europe andthe European UnionFraser Cameron a & Andreas Kintis ba Political counselor for the Delegation of theEuropean Commission , United Statesb Research fellow at ELIAMEPPublished online: 17 Apr 2008.

    To cite this article: Fraser Cameron & Andreas Kintis (2001) SoutheasternEurope and the European Union, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies,1:2, 94-112, DOI: 10.1080/14683850108454640

    To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14683850108454640

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    http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionshttp://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions

  • Southeastern Europe and theEuropean Union

    FRASER CAMERON and ANDREAS KINTIS

    The overriding concern of the European Union is to ensure peace,stability and economic progress in Southeastern Europe. Toachieve these aims the EU has invested enormous resources,established the Stability Pact and proposed a number of Stabilityand Association Agreements for the countries of the region. Theseagreements are dependent upon the progress each individualcountry makes towards the conditionality criteria establishedunder the Dayton Agreements. These include democracy, respectfor human rights, minority rights, moves towards a marketeconomy and willingness to engage in regional cooperation. Thisprocess may be viewed against the background of the EU'senlargement process involving Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania andTurkey. The prospect of eventual EU membership is the mostimportant motive for all countries in the region. The individualstates concerned still have enormous problems to overcome butnow they all have a realistic European perspective.

    The overriding objective of the European Union (EU) in Southeastern(SE) Europe, particularly in light of recent conflicts, is the creation of anarea of political stability and economic prosperity, in which all countrieswill have a realistic perspective of closer relations with the EU.

    The term Southeastern Europe seems infinitely more palatable thanthe Balkans, but the problem of definition remains. For the purpose ofthis paper, SE Europe is defined as all the states between and includingSlovenia and Turkey. It is worth noting that both Moldova and Ukrainehave been keen to assert that they are also part of SE Europe.

    Given the recent history and the heterogeneity of the region, the EU hashad little choice but to concentrate on bilateral relationships with countriesof the region. Some countries are involved in the enlargement process,albeit at different stages, while others have no contractual relations with theEU. Recently, the European Commission proposed specific new agreementsfor individual countries. In addition to the bilateral relationships, the Unionrecognizes the importance of the regional dimension.

    Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, Vol.1, No.2 (May 2001) pp.94-112PUBLISHED BY FRANK CASS, LONDON

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  • SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE AND THE EU 95

    The EU has its own Regional Approach, supports the RoyaumontProcess and has launched a Stability Pact for SE Europe. A priority of theRegional Approach is the successful implementation of the Dayton/Parispeace agreements, which principally concerns Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). The EU hassought to assist these states to meet the conditionality requirements,which involve respect for democratic principles, human and minorityrights and good neighbourly relations among the region's countries.

    Structural problems and unresolved issues in SE Europe areconcentrated mainly, but not exclusively, in the partner states of the EURegional Approach: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the FRY, Croatia andthe Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). The region isheterogeneous in every respect - ethnically, culturally, religiously,linguistically, economically and politically - and causes of potentialconflict are shared by almost all the above countries, including unresolvedterritorial and minority questions; economic backwardness anddistortion; unstable, often undemocratic political systems; reluctance toemploy peaceful conflict settlement mechanisms and confidence-buildingmeasures; and underdeveloped regional cooperation structures.

    EU interests in SE Europe include the containment of violent ethnicconflict as a prerequisite for lasting stability throughout Europe; thereduction of migration motivated by poverty, war, persecution and civilstrife; the strengthening of democracy, as well as human and minorityrights; the establishment of market economy structures with stableeconomic growth to close the prosperity gap in Europe; and the increaseof economic potential (growing markets, investment possibilities).

    In short, the EU has a real interest in the European perspective for thewhole of SE Europe and aims to counteract trends towards destabilizationand marginalization.

    EU RELATIONS WITH THE REGION

    The EU has different contractual relations with each country in theregion. Greece is a member state of the EU and plays an active role in theBalkans. With Turkey, the EU has signed a Customs Union; its successfulfunctioning is essential in Turkey's preparations for EU membership.Romania and Bulgaria have Europe Agreements with the EU and areactively pursuing their membership applications despite the obviousdifficulties both countries face. Slovenia has also signed a EuropeAgreement and is negotiating accession to the Union.

    The EU's relations with the region's remaining states may be dividedinto two categories: (a) Croatia, the FRY and Bosnia-Herzegovina; and (b)

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  • 96 SOUTHEAST EUROPEAN AND BLACK SEA STUDIES

    Albania and FYROM. The first group was engaged in the Bosnian conflict,and EU policy towards these countries is based on a follow-up to theDayton/Paris peace agreements, with considerable emphasis onconditionality (support for democracy, protection of human and minorityrights, willingness to engage in regional cooperation, and willingness tocooperate with the International War Crimes Tribunal). Huge problemsremain concerning reconstruction, refugees, sharply reduced industrialoutput and the breakdown of health and social security systems. The EU haspledged one billion euros for reconstruction, with the focus on institutionbuilding (including civil society and the media), refugee return andeconomic development. Both Albania and FYROM have 'evolutionaryclauses' in their Cooperation Agreements with the EU, which allowrelations to be upgraded according to political and economic developments.

    ENLARGEMENT

    The enlargement of the EU (and NATO) is a major challenge withimportant strategic implications for SE Europe. The EU has been at painsto treat all applicants on an equal basis. Hence, the Commission'sRegular Reports on progress towards accession (13 October 1999)argued for the opening of accession negotiations with all candidatecountries that have fulfilled the Copenhagen political criteria and provedready to comply with the economic criteria, namely Bulgaria, Malta,Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia.1 Furthermore, the Commissionproposed to conduct accession negotiations through a 'differentiated'approach, taking full account of the progress made by each candidatecountry.2 As Giinter Verheugen, Commissioner for Enlargement, put it:

    This strategy will help strike the right balance between two potentiall