Rehabilitating Serbia

by Marten van Heuven

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As fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina subsides, the European Union (EU) must lead the effort to return stability, security, and prosperity to the Balkans; furthermore, that effort should focus on Serbia. One option for the United States, its Western European allies, and other regional powers is to employ a sustained combination of incentives and disincentives to patiently but persistently negotiate changes in Serbia's conduct. It is important that the approach clearly indicate the unacceptability of aggression and human rights violations and penalize violations of internationally accepted norms. It is clear that only outside elements can effectively shape the future. What has been achieved through truce and diplomatic agreement has been largely due to the efforts of outsiders and the presence of foreign forces. Members of the EU are most directly affected by the outcome, and they are also the best placed to help shape it. Thus, the EU emerges as the most likely instrument for the West to help shape the future of the Balkans.

Originally published in: Foreign Policy, no. 96, Fall 1994, pp. 38-48.

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