Emerging from a decade of violent ethnic and inter-state conflict during the 1990s, the countries of the Western Balkans entered a phase of rebuilding and reconciliation. Due to the key role played by the EU in the region's rebuilding efforts, Integrating the Balkans explores this institution's considerable efforts to influence and shape the nature of state, society and foreign relations of the Western Balkans, as it utilised the promise of membership as a vital tool to exert its influence. With a central focus on Croatia and Serbia, Mire Braniff explores the nature of political conditionality as the foremost instrument of EU engagement in the Western Balkans, as well as examining the relationships and social learning processes that are brought about by increasing engagement and integration. The picture that materialises is one of the EU's discernible, but often contradictory, impact as it offers the carrot of EU membership in the hope that the legacies of the past conflict can be re-evaluated, re-imagined and transformed. By also analysing the conditions that come with EU aid, such as co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Braniff offers a fascinating analysis of the politicization and militarization of the EU Accession promises, terms and conditions. This book thus highlights the debates surrounding the functionality and effectiveness of the enlargement approach in the Western Balkans, building on discussions revolving around previous enlargement processes and wider issues of international intervention. Bringing together important archival sources of EU, Croatian and Serbian actors, Braniff analyses the nuanced transition process that has been framed and transformed by the promise of EU membership, offering an extremely important perspective for all those involved in the study and practice of the processes of European integration and post-conflict resolution.
Integrating the Balkans
Conflict Resolution and the Impact of EU Expansion