The dismemberment of Yugoslavia and the European Union
It is argued that the European Union did not perform well in the former Yugoslavia. This paper addresses the issue whether the EU should have opted for a different course, given the complex nature of the conflict that tore apart the nations inhabiting the former Yugoslavia. In order to understand the conflict what has to be taken into account are historical, political, economic and social factors. Being an international organisation of sovereign states, it was not easy for the EU to intervene in Yugoslavia and to stop the civil war. The European Political Co-operation process failed to reach the objectives the EU had set out, while the Common Foreign and Security Policy had yet to be devised. It could be asked whether the EU had been better equipped for dealing with international conflicts since the ratification of the Treaty of Amsterdam? The Treaty of Amsterdam reinforces the decision-making procedures and structures, but does not address the defence issues properly. While the situation in the former Yugoslavia remains precarious, the future response of the EU may depend on the way its internal decision-making process is reformed. In the former Yugoslavia the EU’s role as a civil power may become more important.
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