Constructing South East Europe: The Politics of Balkan by Dimitar Bechev

By Dimitar Bechev

Nearby cooperation has turn into a particular characteristic of the Balkans, a space identified for its turbulent politics. Exploring the origins and dynamics of this variation, this ebook highlights the transformative strength of the ecu and different foreign actors.

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Extra info for Constructing South East Europe: The Politics of Balkan Regional Cooperation

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EU policies differed in their design. For instance minority issues in Central Europe, such as, the plight of Hungarians in Romania and Slovakia, typically involved pairs of neighbouring countries rather than regional complexes. This reflected on the EU’s approach to inter-state cooperation, as exemplified by high-profile initiatives such as the Pact for Stability in Europe, which was originally proposed by French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur in April 1993 (Ueta, 1997; Smith, 1999, pp. 155–60).

Security interdependence did not translate automatically into violent conflict as at previous historical junctures. New transnational issues and threats The profound impact exercised on the region by that first episode of the Yugoslav drama had to do less with the world of diplomacy and 36 Constructing South East Europe military balances than with the pervasive weakness of state institutions. Instead of igniting a larger conflict, the wars generated a range of soft-security problems spilling over both old and newly-instituted borders in the Balkans.

The other principal enemy of Ceaus¸escu’s brand of national communism was Hungary, especially in the 1980s when the Hungarian minority in Romania was persecuted. 13 The latter was comprised of several triangular security relationships: (1) Greece–Turkey–Bulgaria: the question of Turkish and Muslim minorities, disputes over the Aegean, military deployments; (2) Yugoslavia–Bulgaria–Greece: the ever-present and mutating Macedonian Question; (3) Greece–Albania–Yugoslavia: cross-border ethnic minorities and disputed territories.

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