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        • SINCE THE end of the Cold War security in the Western Balkans has to a large extent relied on NATO. The compliance with the Dayton and Ohrid Peace agreements as well as implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 depended on the military political overlay that NATO has been exercising over the region.

           

          However, as peace and democracy consolidate, Western Balkan states are gradually acquiring capacities to transform themselves from "security importers into security exporters" through memberships in PfP and NATO. It is often debated in public how far they are from NATO membership and what should be achieved in that respect. In this issue of the Western Balkans Security Observer we turn this question up-side down and ask instead: how far is NATO from the Western Balkans? Firstly, we focus our attention to the debates on NATO accession that are parallel ongoing in Macedonia, Croatia and Montenegro. The readership will discern the convergence but also some significant divergence in the dominant public and political discourses in these three countries. Then, authors from the Belgrade School of Security Studies present the existing public debate in Serbia on NATO accession. They also make an assessment of its consequences on Serbia’s internal, economic and foreign policy. One article brings us back to the 1950s when cordial almost allied relationships existed between Tito’s Yugoslavia and NATO. The story about the extraordinary talent for Realpolitik demonstrated by the Yugoslav administration at the time should serve today’s political elites as a signpost for way forward. However, it should not be, by any means a harborage and pretext for incompletion of Euro Atlantic integration in line with national and regional interests.

           

          Filip Ejdus, Executive Director of CCMR and Research Fellow at the Belgrade School of Security Studies

           

        • Tags: nato, Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro, Security of Western Balkan, Balkan, civil society, costs, benefit, integration, Euro Atlantic integration, membership, russia
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