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Research Report

War crimes, conditionality and EU integration in the Western Balkans

Judy Batt
Vojin Dimitrijevic
Florence Hartmann
Dejan Jovic
Tija Memisevic
Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik
Judy Batt
Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik
Copyright Date: Jun. 1, 2009
Pages: 107
OPEN ACCESS
https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep07052
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 9-12)
    Judy Batt and Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik

    The baleful legacy of the wars of the 1990s continues to dog the states and societies of the former Yugoslavia and has played a not insignificant part in the disappointingly slow, hesitant trajectory of the region towards the EU. At the start of the new millennium, with the removal of key wartime leaders from the political scene in both Croatia and Serbia, it was widely hoped that the region would prove able to ‘leave the past behind’ and rapidly move on to the hopeful new agenda of EU integration. The EU’s Copenhagen criteria, which in 1993 first explicitly set out...

  2. (pp. 13-28)
    Dejan Jovic

    Croatia became a member of NATO in April 2009 and is well on the way to becoming a full member of the European Union in the near future. The prospect of membership in these two international organisations has shaped both Croatian domestic and foreign policy over the past decade. The main obstacle to Croatia’s earlier membership of the European Union was its incomplete and insufficiently impressive record on the issues of transitional justice in general, and of its (long-delayed) co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

    As Victor Peskin and Miecyslaw Boduszynski argue in their pioneering...

  3. (pp. 29-48)
    Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik

    The arrest of Radovan Karadzic has demonstrated that the attitude of the Serbian political elite – and perhaps of the public – towards those accused of war crimes is changing. His arrest, on 21 July 2008, some three weeks into the new DS (Democratic Party)-SPS (Socialist Party of Serbia) coalition government, reinforced the idea that Serbia’s history of reluctance to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) since 2000 had been in large part due to the machinations of Vojislav Kostunica. Soon after Kostunica had stepped down, and the DS-SPS government was formed, Rasim Ljajic, president...

  4. (pp. 49-66)
    Tija Memisevic

    Bosnia and Herzegovina signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU on 16 June 2008, and was thus the last of the countries in the Western Balkans region to formally reach this stage in the EU integration process. The decision to sign the SAA came after the parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) adopted two laws as a basis for police reform and therefore formally met the remaining condition stipulated by the EU for entry into the SAA. However, these two laws fall significantly short of the criteria for police reform as formulated by the EU in 2003....

  5. (pp. 67-82)
    Florence Hartmann

    The prospect of closer ties with the European Union has been the most important factor in ensuring cooperation of the Western Balkans states with the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the arrest of persons suspected of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. As former Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte stressed before ending her eight year mandate, ‘90% of all indictees brought to justice [before the ICTY] are a direct result of conditionality applied by the EU’.

    In the context of a lack of genuine will among Western Balkans politicians to address the issue of war...

  6. (pp. 83-100)
    Vojin Dimitrijevic

    The developments on the territory of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s can explain the reluctance of many political figures, including the leaders of the newly created or reorganised states, to deal with the perpetrators of alleged crimes committed during this period. There has been a general tendency, very familiar to all students of nationalism, to regard one’s own ethnic group as the victim and those who fought on its side as heroes who had to resort to all means at their disposal to defend their ethnic nation, which they believed was in grave peril. In view of this, initially...