On the occasion of the conference "We Did It Our Way - From Mini Schengen to Maxi Benefits", hosted by the Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies (CEAS) in Belgrade, we published the author's text of Bertram D. Braun, retired U.S. Diplomat who spent many years working on Balkan issues, especially U.S.-Serbian relations.
WASHINGTON – Chairman of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel urged Admiral James Foggo to be more balanced in his future statements on Serbia’s foreign and defence policy, expressing his concern over the “alarming” relations between Belgrade and Moscow.
BELGRADE – We had the opportunity to interview Admiral James Foggo, commander of Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, during his visit to Belgrade last week. We talked with the Admiral about the current cooperation between NATO and Serbia, about KFOR, the NATO perspective of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the importance of North Macedonia’s accession to the Alliance, and whether NATO’s “brain is dead”.
Aspiring EU members must resolve outstanding disputes as part of the membership process. This has proved a powerful tool over the years.Resolving bilateral problems, including border disputes, is especially crucial in the Western Balkans, where they are numerous.France’s October 2019 veto of accession talks for North Macedonia and Albania has already weakened Western Balkans publics’ trust in the EU.Should the EU’s influence wane, nationalist leaders will exacerbate tensions with neighbouring countries. The future of North Macedonia’s Prespa Agreement with Greece is under threat, and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Montenegro could also prove a potential flashpoint.The EU should demonstrate its commitment to the Western Balkans by encouraging countries there to resolve their outstanding disputes, both to make them better candidates and to strengthen security in the region