“The countries of the Western Balkans, which include Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, have made clear commitments to join the European Union and, with the exception of Serbia, other Euro-Atlantic structures such as NATO. Each of these countries has, to varying degrees, made significant progress in the integration process. The EU — despite internal problems related to Brexit and so-called enlargement exhaustion — continues to support their bids for membership. NATO espouses a similar policy, supporting membership to the Alliance for all countries of the region.
Regional peace and stability issues are factors in the integration process. The EU and NATO have made it clear that resolving all standing bilateral disagreements that might negatively affect peace and stability is a precondition to membership. However, the security challenges facing Western Balkan countries are daunting. These challenges include increased interference from Russia, as Moscow seeks to reassert Soviet Cold War-era political and economic interests in the region, and from radical Islamist groups, originating mostly from the Middle East, which aim to impose radical Muslim ideology on the Balkans’ Muslims...”
Excerpt from Jetish Jashari, “Balkan Challenges,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 9, No. 2, 2019: 32-39.
Jetish Jashari has been head of the Department of Legal Issues and International Treaties in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo since 2016. He has also served as deputy chief of mission in the embassies of Kosovo in the United States, Sweden and Macedonia. He holds a master of laws degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law. He attended the Marshall Center’s Language for Diplomacy Program in 2017.
This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.