European Western Balkans
Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue

Foreign Policy Initiative BH: Silence of international community reminds of the 1990s

Pahor, Thaci, Van der Bellen, Vučić and Hahn; Photo: President of the Republic of Kosovo

SARAJEVO – “Any border change in the Balkans is not solution, it is a blueprint for new disasters. Even having to say this after everything the region has been through over the past 25 years feels surreal and unbelievable”, reads the most direct conclusion of the Foreign Policy Initiative BH’s reaction to the recent Forum in Alpbach.

During the Forum, Presidents of Serbia and Kosovo defended their proposal for a border correction as the lasting solution between the two countries. FP Initiative made its position towards such action clear.

“It is a logical fallacy that, with initial round of political divisions having failed to appease nationalist passions in the region, another round will somehow do the job. Instead, as should be obvious to any discerning reader of history and politics, championing divisions simply creates new cleavage lines in the region”, the reaction reads.

The Initiative accuses regional politicians for trying to “hide the bankruptcy of their political vision behind the ideology of nationalism”, pointing out that “such proposals undermine multiculturalism and multi-ethnicity as values upon which history and future of our societies must rest, upon which Europe still rests”.

The reaction of international community, Initiative claims, has so for been underwhelming, reminscing “international inertia” towards the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina 25 years ago.

The faliure of the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn to clearly condemn this kind of proposal was also negatively received by the Initiative. On of the aims of its reaction, therefore, was to send a strong message to international actors.

“We take this opportunity to remind the international community of those facts, to appeal to you to stay on the side of maintaining peace in the Balkans. Peace in the Balkans is your legacy – please preserve it. Please take into account the wider regional context, the threats to stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the decades long undermining of its institutions, and continued claims for autonomy of one of its parts”, members of the initiative wrote.

They concluded by urging “the European Union and all its institutions, NATO, the United States and other individual players to distance yourself from the ideas expressed in Alpbach. By propagating ideas which could entail a return to massive human rights violations, ethnic cleansing and the rewarding of extreme nationalist forces”.

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