THE RESURGENCE OF NATIONALISM: THE BREAKUP OF YUGOSLAVIA
The choice between modern nation-building and integration into supranational European and Euro-Atlantic structures remains a strategic challenge for the Balkan countries. Success in solving this problem of predominantly mono-ethnic Croatia and Slovenia has not yet become a model to follow. Serbian and Albanian national issues cannot be resolved. Serbia's defeat in the Balkan wars of 1991–1999 over the creation of a "Greater Serbia" led to the country's territorial fragmentation. Two Albanian national states emerged in the Balkans. Attempts to create a union of Kosovo and Albania could turn the region into a whirlpool of ultra-nationalist contradictions. The European Union has started accession negotiations with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro. The success of these negotiations depends on the readiness of the EU and the ability of these Balkan states to adopt European norms and rules. The accession of all Balkan nation-states to the European Union must finally close the "Balkan window" of the vulnerability of the united Europe. Nation-building in the Balkans on the basis of ethnic nationalism sharply contradicts the purpose and current values of the European integration process. For more than three decades, the EU has been pursuing a policy of human rights, the rule of law, democracy and economic development in the Balkans. The region remains vulnerable to the influences of non-European geopolitical powers: the United States, Russia, Turkey, and China. The further scenario of the great Balkan geopolitical game mainly depends on the pro-European national consolidation of the Balkan peoples and the effectiveness of the European Union's strategy in the Balkans.
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