Robin Wilson
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Balkan lessons
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At their summit on the western Balkans in Thessaloniki in June 2003, European Union (EU) leaders declared: 'Fragmentation and divisions along ethnic lines are incompatible with the European perspective, which should act as a catalyst for addressing problems within the region'. This chapter is based on secondary sources on Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina (B-H). In B-H an amoral approach was adopted, notably by the UK, based on minimising intervention, particularly by refusing to commit troops to a peace-enforcing role. B-H might seem a more successful power-sharing case than Northern Ireland, in as much as the State institutions, however dysfunctional, have at least been in being ever since the Dayton accords. In Macedonia importantly, interethnic dialogue after the outbreak of civil conflict could be presented instead, as Brussels was keen to do, as an integral part of the path to eventual EU membership, via an Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA).

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