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          The transformation of security and stability considerations has meant that the formulation and implementation of security and foreign policy cannot be undertaken from a unitary, state perspective; rather, the new environment, together with accession to common security organisations, demands that South Eastern European states must also develop their security policies within a "supranational" context, in the means of formulation and application. This environment transforms the traditional concept of a unitary state enemy, which now is considered a definition of the past, into the notion that enemies and risks will come in the form of particular actors or groups. Specifically, this involves focusing upon ethno-national and ethno-religious movements, religious extremists, criminal organisations, terrorists and insurgents. In addition, it is equally important to consider that many of the South Eastern European states are comprised of ethnic minorities, who, in the light of democratic and systemic change, seek self-determination, which also provides challenges to the security and stability of South Eastern Europe and the region as a whole. As a result, ethno-political determination and the proliferation of organised crime will provide the background for security and political considerations in South Eastern Europe during the next decade.

          The ambiguous nature of the new security dilemma has demanded a certain level of departure from the traditional logic of the Westphalian model of the international system, which characterised the security and defence policies of European states during the Cold War. The nature of direct causality between the security of nations has equally demanded that security and defence cannot be based on the principle of political autonomy. The prevailing idea of an enlarged security concept is a direct response to this security dilemma. It takes into account the fact that there must be a transformation of the multilateral security structures of Western Europe if they are to adequately respond to the challenges of the new security environment. A similar approach will need to be adopted in South Eastern Europe to guarantee long-term stability in the region. Moreover, where traditionally military means were the primary instruments of security and defence management and planning, the transformation of the political landscape of South Eastern Europe has meant a shift in focus.  Traditional military instruments may no longer be the most efficient and practical means with which to maintain security.

          The rapid demise of ideological confrontation and the political and security concerns of the Cold War to some extent left a vacuum, which has been filled by new security and political concerns and threats; although the collapse of two ideologically opposed blocs has, to some extent, lessened the likelihood of global conflict, the security situation today has been transformed into a succession of actual or potential conflicts and threats of lesser intensity. The transformations seen in the region of South Eastern Europe over the past years demand that the focus of security be taken away from purely military terms and concepts. Security challenges and threats appear in entirely new forms, such as organised crime and political unrest. Consequently, a redefinition of the security model, together with the search for new mechanisms of security management, is required in order to respond adequately to these new challenges. In particular, changes in the political landscape and the advent of trends towards wider integration necessitate adequate collective responses to growing cross-border security issues.

          The concept of security in the contemporary world has been transformed into an idea that encompasses global, regional and national approaches. There has also arisen a need to redefine strategic stability, deterrence, crisis management, arms reduction, and confidence building measures; these have all become important contributing factors to the management of stability and security. It is imperative that Western Europe, and indeed, the countries of South Eastern Europe, include and further develop these concepts within their own security policies. As has often been noted, the collapse of the bipolar system has lessened the likelihood of global conflict. This transformation has occurred primarily for the reason that the proliferation of independent states has caused a shift in focus from one "risk" bloc towards a number of risk areas. Consequently, this transformation has meant that security assessments must now take into focus concerns that are more ambiguous in nature, and which cannot be assessed by traditional security and military methods. In particular, the waning of direct threats to national security and the rise of more general threats to international stability require thought about the nature of strategic interests and appropriate responses to these threats.

          It is clear that the removal of Slobodan Milošević has paved the way for a distinct possibility of peace in the region of South Eastern Europe, and has, at least, removed the largest threat to security and stability in the region. However, the problems associated with insecurity and instability have not suddenly disappeared as a result of his departure. The potential for conflict and instability remains high due to the nature of the problems that the region faces. In particular, there a number of common problems that present challenges to the future stability and security of the region. These include the existence of nationalist sentiment, the wish for political determination, refugees and displaced persons, dire economic circumstances, corruption and organised crime, and ineffective government institutions. It is clear that finding solutions to these problems will provide the background to the security environment of the next decade, and that the task of facing these challenges will be up to European organisations and national governments alike.

          The countries of South Eastern Europe have been given the opportunity to integrate with Europe, and as a future blueprint for stability in the region, this remains a practicable plan. However, it is equally clear that these countries first must address the causes of instability that are at the root of so many of their problems. Additionally, greater levels of political and economic reforms must be undertaken, not just to meet the criteria for European integration but also to improve the lives of ordinary citizens. This will in turn make criminal alternatives less desirable and help internal stability flourish. Although, as stated above, the countries of South Eastern Europe face similar threats to security and stability, for the purposes of presenting and underlining the key issues for regional security and the implications for the region, this paper will examine a number of countries in which those risks are exacerbated due to their particular circumstances. This paper will examine the countries of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo), Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Albania.

          There can be no doubt that the security environment has altered due to the consequences of political and societal change in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe. The nature of the new security environment has meant that focus is now no longer directed towards unitary state enemies, but towards a much broader spectrum of issues that undermine stability. Indeed, as we have mentioned, globalisation and integration have ensured that states are now much more connected, and in particular, this also relates to physical borders, which have become much more porous than before. As a result of these factors, security now is much more indivisible, and the direct causal linkages between the security and stability of the various states in the region are undeniable.

          This change in focus has meant that security threats are now much more ambiguous than was previously the case. Consequently, this complexity together with the fact that these threats are intrinsically linked to security in a broader sense—by definition and by geographical nature—has meant that there has been a subsequent shift in focus away from military instruments of security and defence planning and management. This shift towards other mechanisms has occurred because these are no longer efficient and practicable mechanisms with which to maintain security and defence. Key issues for regional security in South Eastern Europe during the next decade are multilateral cooperation and integration issues; cultural security and ethnic/human rights considerations; internal instability and proliferation of organised crime and corruption. All of these issues are intrinsically linked together within a continuous cause and effect scenario.  As a result, rather than to prioritise any given issue, it is important that any approach takes all into consideration. The presence of one of these problems is usually the cause of another, and is further exacerbated by the existence of an additional number of these factors. Consequently, finding solutions to these problems has meant that a broad-based mechanism must be used which addresses societal, political and economic problems as a whole. Mechanisms are therefore required to take into account the broad subject matter of the problems. Indeed, the formation of new cooperative bodies to tackle the issues should be considered. This would be a logical progression considering the fact that the countries of the region share common historical and cultural factors and experience common problems. The main premise behind this reasoning is that collective security threats require collective responses.

          Equally, as much as the onus is upon the EU and NATO to help find solutions to these problems, it is more important that the countries of South Eastern Europe seek to solve these problems themselves. The countries of South Eastern Europe are far better positioned to understand the nature of their specific problems and societies than are either the EU or NATO. However, the EU and NATO's help will be required to allow these issues to be resolved. It is also important that current prevailing attitudes concerning security continue to adapt to the new environment and also expand to encompass significant new factors. As was argued above, the concept of cultural security must also be addressed, as this can also greatly affect stability and security. Failure to deal with these issues will mean that they will continue to pose security threats during the next decade.  This is the dilemma that characterises the new security environment and that must be addressed. 

        • Tags: Security of Western Balkan, SEE, Security, stability, challenge, integrations, security threat, eu
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