Finishing the Job in the Balkans

The Hague Institute hosted a panel discussion on the state of play in the Balkans and the way forward. The event provided insights from Europe, the United States, the region itself, and the Netherlands.

In November 2010, Daniel Serwer wrote in the New York Times that only when all the region’s countries are irreversibly on a course toward the E.U. will we be able to celebrate. Have the Balkans crossed the line of certainty?

The euro crisis further reinforced the temptation to pursue a “wait-and-see” approach to the Western Balkans, but the stability of the status quo could prove deceptive, warned Dimitar Bechev.

Stefan Lehne argued that without reenergized EU’s engagement, the enlargement fatigue in the EU could spill over into reform fatigue in the region. The process could then degenerate into a kind of double bluff in which the EU just pretends to remain open to further accession and the Western Balkan states pretend to reform


  • Ms. Daphne Bergsma
    Deputy Director-General for Europe
    Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Daniel Serwer
    Senior Fellow
    Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
  • Stefan Lehne
    Visiting Scholar
    Carnegie Europe in Brussels
  • Dimitar Bechev
    Senior Policy Fellow and Head of ECFR’s office
    Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Pieter Feith
    Distinguished Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations
    Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

The Panel Discussion was moderated by Nikola Dimitrov, Distinguished Fellow at the Hague Institute, who served as ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia in Washington DC (2001-2006) and The Hague (2009-2014), and as a Special Envoy of his government to the EU and NATO in 2007 in Brussels.


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