Prospects and Risks Beyond EU Enlargement: Southeastern Europe: Weak States and Strong International Support
Werner Weidenfeld Since the signing of the Treaties of Rome in 1957, Western European history has been an ongoing process integrating and enlarging European institutions. Over the course of that time, the institutions now known as the European Union have become a major pillar for the security and stability for Europe as a whole. These essential functions can only be perpetuated if the Union can project its capacities and capabilities beyond its current borders. Today's European agenda is defined by integration. Offering prospects for membership in the EU has been a successful instrument for helping shape the transition in East Central Europe. The imminent first round of enlargement also calls for a deep ening of EU integration, which should be resolved through the EU Convention. While the European Union is preparing for ten new member states, developments in Europe are far from standing still. The countries beyond the EU's future borders in Eastern Europe and the Balkans are undertaking a threefold process of national con solidation, transition to a market economy and strengthening parliamentary democ racy. These processes entail risks that range from authoritarian regimes to armed es calation in Southeastern Europe. These risks have a direct impact on European secu rity and stability. At the same time, some areas of internal transition are making seri ous strides toward Western standards. For this reason, simply reducing Eastern and Southeastern Europe to a set of risks threatens to create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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