Reuniting Europe

I think that Bosnia and Herzegovina will be a hot potato to Mr. Carl Bildt, and not only for him, at it has been in the early nineties.

I have a question: when will former Yugoslavia stop to disintegrate? After all, all of its components want to join the EU, where we live without internal borders. All these small nations struggle to secure borders, which should become to a large extend irrelevant. It’s surreal.

There is another aspect of this disintegration which I find unfair to the rest of the Union. If Yugoslavia had joined as one country, it would had obtained 14 votes for qualified majority vote in the Council, and 33 MEPs. Now, with the present state of disintegration, the residual countries would obtain 40 votes and 63 MEPs.

I will explain.

Slovenia, already in EU, has 2 million people, 4 QM votes and 7 MEPs;

For the rest, comparing the possible allocation with present EU members of similar size, this is what we have:

Serbia, with 7.5 million, would have 10 QM votes and 17 MEPs;

Kosovo, with 2 million, would have 4 QM votes and 7 MEPs;

Croatia, with 4.5 million, would have 7 QM votes and 12 MEPs;

Montenegro, with 0.6 million, would have 4 QM votes and 6 MEPs;

Bosnia and Herzegovina, if it does not furter disintegrate, with its 4 million, would have 7 QM votes and 7 MEPs.

The total is: 63 QM votes from residual Yugoslavia, and 63 MEPs.

If Yugoslavia had joined as one country, with its 22.6 million it would have obtained 14 QM votes and 33 MEPs.

Another thing is that if instead of self-destructing, Yugoslavia had concentrated on joining the EU, as one country, this could have happened already in 1995 together with Austria, Sweden and Finland…

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  1. Thank you Mr Gotev for the detailed explanation. I didn’t think before, about comparing the “voting power” of former Yugoslavia with separate states that exist nowadays. You are absolutely right that now when state borders mean nothing in United Europe, here in the Balkans, we still struggle for national self-determinations and drawing new ethnic borders.

    And all of that looks even worse, when we look back and see that former Yugoslavia could be already an EU member state, since 1995.

  2. The author asks if disintegration of ex-Yugoslavia will stop. I have some doubts that this will not happen very soon. In Bosnia-Herzegovina the developments last year showed that it is not any more dispute between Serbs and Bosniaks, there was also serious dissension between Bosniaks and Croats. Last year alarming reports started to come about rise of radical Islam in Bosnia-Herzegovina (more e.g. in my article “Islamic terror …” – http://arirusila.wordpress.com/2008/10/13/islamic-terror-in-bosnia-follow-up-and-some-background/) and how Croatians in Bosnia felt that hey are victims of Bosnian Muslim terror. Also arms trafficking in Bosnia changed more alarming not because their selling in EU but because their planned use in Europe by radicals (more e.g. in my article “Radical Islamists arming their selves in Balkans“ – http://arirusila.wordpress.com/2008/12/01/radical-islamists-arming-their-selves-in-balkans/).

    Lack of national identity and multi-ethnic ideals and dispute between ethnic groups are main reason for possible collapse of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Can any country survive without some minimal mutual self-identification across its citizens as a whole? If the shared non-ethnic Bosnian identity is taking steps backwards does this not mean that this artificial western desk-drawer plan is doomed to fail? I am afraid so but maybe it is loss only for those top level designers not for local population.

    Kosovo is other case creating problems. After squandering billions of euros EU money to establish multi-ethnic standards was huge failure to EU. You remember slogan standards before status 2002 which only after few years transformed to form “standards and status” before its final version dropped the visionary standards out from table. First I was thinking that Kosovo is sliding to be a “failed state” now I am tending to the opinion that a “captured state” is better definition describing the leading role of organised crime tribes in Kosovo politics as well its share in economy.

    It’s said that The Balkans are a graveyard for foreign ambitions. This could be the “lessons learned” to both USA and EU. Some more sustainable solutions could be implemented in Western Balkans. The key question from my point of view is whether western Balkans really needs outside advice or not. The other option could be that instead to be the mastermind of Balkan policy the EU and USA should be facilitators for regional initiatives.

    Both in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo many local stakeholders see implemented rules illegitimate and foreign-imposed – and they are right. Internationally imposed solutions are not sustainable, to get real progress the inter-ethnic agreements must be made at local level.

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