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2005-05-20

Kosova: Better a bad government than a European one? 

Patrick Moore at RFE/RL, "More Talks, More Models for Kosova", concluding section:
An international commission recently suggested that the EU extend explicit prospects of EU membership for an independent Kosova that would, however, be an EU protectorate for at least several years. Many Kosovars have come away from this and other discussions with the impression that the EU is concerned as much with procedure as with results, and that it is determined to somehow "prove" its ability to deal with Balkan problems through prolonged paternalistic rule regardless of what the locals might wish. Many people in the Balkans sense that the attitude in Brussels is that if the "peoples of the Western Balkans" want to join the EU, they will have to do as they are told.
As RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service has noted, many Kosovars also suspect that the EU will ultimately try to force Kosova into some form of joint state with Serbia and Montenegro, which both Podgorica and Prishtina reject. These perceptions of Brussels' intentions have led some Kosovars to question how well such proposals have been thought through in light of concrete experience. They argue that the track record of creative Western statecraft in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro has not been particularly encouraging.
In 1964, veteran British Middle East expert Anthony Nutting criticized his country's policies in that region by noting that "Britain failed to realize that the Arabs preferred being governed badly by themselves to being governed well by somebody else" ("The Arabs," New York: Mentor, p. 364). His observations are probably still valid four decades later -- and in the Balkans as well.
A forceful piece. Yet a bad government of an independent Kosova, and in particular one that would not uphold the 'standards' and turn hostile or negligent towards minority Serbs, Roma and Sinti, or other minorities, would be an intolerable outcome of the Western intervention in this conflict. That simply must be prevented, even if this means procedures, procedures, and more procedures. I agree with Moore though that hopes for a 'European' solution of the dilemma that would somehow replace the idea of independent nation states with federalised EU-regions are probably illusionary.


1 comments:

The NATO bombing campaign, which began in March 1999 after Serbia's refusal to sign a peace accord for the settlement of the conflict in Kosova, lasted until June 1999 when the Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic capitulated and agreed to withdraw all Serbian security forces from Kosova. United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 established a United Nations civilian administration in Kosova (known as the United Nations Mission in Kosova; UNMIK) and allowed a NATO-led peacekeeping force to enter Kosova to ensure security. vodafone albania
 
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