HomeDOCUMENTSCommittee Reports2002 Annual SessionAV 173 CC(02)10 - Special Report . 'On the Influence of the 11 September 2001 Events on the Processes of Reconciliation, Stabilisation and Integration in the Balkans and Eastern Europe'
Special Report . 'On the Influence of the 11 September 2001 Events on the Processes of Reconciliation, Stabilisation and Integration in the Balkans and Eastern Europe'
Special Associate Rapporteur - Rapporteur associé spécial : Petre ROMAN (Romania/Roumanie)
I. ON THE INFLUENCE OF THE 11 SEPTEMBER 2001 EVENTS ON THE PROCESSES OF RECONCILIATION, STABILISATION AND INTEGRATION IN THE BALKANS AND EASTERN EUROPE 1
A. RESHAPING THE GLOBAL AGENDA 1
B. SYNCHRONIZING EUROPEAN VALUES IN THE BALKANS 3
C. SHARED SUSTAINABILITY 5
D. REGIONAL INITIATIVES IN SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE 6
E. THE VISION OF THE UNITED EUROPE 7
F. RUSSIA’S STRATEGIC POLICY AND CO-OPERATION WITH NATO 8
II. ADDRESSING THE NEED TO MODERNIZE NATO: STRENGTHENING AND INCREASING THE CO-ORDINATION OF THE CIVIL DIMENSION OF THE SECURITY ACTIVITIES IN THE NEW POST-PRAGUE NATO 10
A. DEVELOPING TRUE LEADERSHIP IN THE BALKANS 10
B. PERSPECTIVES FOR THE NATIONS OF THE BALKANS 13
III. CONCLUSION 16
I. ON THE INFLUENCE OF THE 11 SEPTEMBER 2001 EVENTS ON THE PROCESSES OF RECONCILIATION, STABILISATION AND INTEGRATION IN THE BALKANS AND EASTERN EUROPE
A. RESHAPING THE GLOBAL AGENDA
1. The events of 11 September 2001 are profoundly reshaping the global agenda. Today there is a heightened need for collective action on a range of crosscutting issues. The acts of terrorism posed a direct threat to our common values, our security and stability. They prompted us to reflect more deeply on the new meaning of security. And out of that tragedy has emerged hope: a new sense of unity and purpose among the international community.
2. Today, we are all experiencing a new reality. It is a reality in which solidarity is the key to protecting human values, to fighting Chaos and Disintegration and to reinforcing Order based on freedom and democracy. This then is the test for the 21st Century: how to defend and preserve our security and stability against the ugly threats of terrorism, organized crime and weapons of mass destruction (among others NBC). And how to face the next big challenge: the ideological struggle between the secular and tolerant model of Islam and the destructive forces of extremism and fanaticism where terrorism is just the tip of the iceberg. The most effective response to new security challenges is to build a new type of co-operative security model to which all nations contribute and through which all can share the benefits of a lasting stable and secure international environment. We should build on the momentum created in the aftermath of 11 September.
3. For those countries that have committed themselves to integration into the European and Euro-Atlantic system, the year 2002 represents a historic crossroads for the recognition of their new identity. The historic road that the countries in Central and South Eastern Europe have travelled in the last 12 years towards freedom and democracy gives hope and faith that they will succeed. It gives them the strength to take a responsible stand and the credibility to act as equal partners in solidarity with others. Eleven years ago, in the summer of 1991, Prague witnessed the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact. This November, the same city will see the final confirmation of a new order based on the free will of nations and solidarity.
4. As we approach NATO’s Prague Summit, our goal is two-fold: to prevent the deepening of discrepancies in security and stability levels between the two halves of Europe; and to respond effectively and in partnership to the new threats facing us all. Keeping the door open to the nations of the Western Balkans, inviting aspirant countries to join NATO, straddling as we do both Central and South East Europe, will be the first step in crossing the invisible but ever-present fault-line that persists in this corner of Europe. But the Western Balkans need their own perspective of NATO membership that, together with their clear EU membership road maps, will prove to them that the West is serious about their integration. In February and March 2002, NATO and US delegations visited candidate countries in South Eastern Europe for in-depth, thorough and extremely useful dialogue on how to be best prepared for NATO membership.
5. "9-11 has had a very riveting effect on NATO and the aspiring countries", said US Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage on the occasion of the meeting in Bucharest on 26 March 2002 of the Vilnius Group of aspirant countries to NATO integration. The Bucharest Declaration appropriately concludes, "The Vilnius Group has committed itself to the further acceleration of reform in the firm belief that the work we undertake this year will become the foundation for an enduring peace in Europe". The Vilnius Group countries participating at the Summit confirmed their commitment to make effective contributions to the missions of NATO and the war on terrorism. Like Romania and Bulgaria, most of the countries represented in Bucharest have troops serving today in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan. The Summit concluded that democracy in Europe would be well served by the inclusion of a "Southern Dimension" of enlargement at the NATO Summit in Prague. As a result of the strong support our countries have received from President Kwasniewski, Prime Minister Ecevit and Prime Minister Simitis, Romania and Bulgaria working together can present a compelling case that a "Southern Dimension" adds real value and substance to Euro-Atlantic security. Turkey and Greece have united behind the candidacies of Romania and Bulgaria arguing that expansion in the South is critical to the region’s security because of transnational crime and instability. The threat in the Balkans is not conventional war, but organized crime, lawlessness, drugs and weapons running, and minor ethnic wars.
6. The real possibility of seven countries joining NATO – following the 1999 accession of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary – represents a significant turn around from just nine months ago. In his Bucharest message, Mr Bush said: "We will move to adapt NATO structures and improve its capabilities so that our societies and our citizens are better protected against new threats wherever they emerge". The debates at the Vilnius Summit underscored once again the challenges facing the North Atlantic Alliance in adapting capability, bringing in new and capable members and building new relationships.
The candidate countries have also proved that they understand these challenges and that they fine-tune their preparations to be prepared for the adapted and reinforced role of NATO, reaching out with strengthened co-operative ties to Russia, Ukraine, Caucasus, Central Asia and Mediterranean countries. They reaffirmed the commitment to further act as allies and make substantial contribution to amputate the common threat of terrorism. To this aim, the aspirant countries reaffirmed commitment to strengthening regional co-operation and stability, and persevering in reforms before Prague and beyond.
7. Accession to NATO is not an end goal but rather a further step on the road to sharing the responsibility for bringing about a deeper security in Europe. There is one school of thought that claims that NATO has become irrelevant; that it does not have and will not have the capabilities to counter the new threats; that when the chips are down, the US must go it alone. But there is another view, much more consistent, that NATO, with its strength and well-established values, but also through the dynamism of its adaptation process, continues to be a vital organisation capable of responding to new types of nonconventional risks and challenges. This is why candidate countries to NATO accession, like Bulgaria and Romania, have sent peacekeepers to Bosnia and to Kosovo. This is why they have sent troops to serve alongside those of NATO Allies in Afghanistan.
Lord Robertson has warned that NATO must modernize or be marginalized. Senator Lugar has declared that it is necessary to “fix NATO capability problems so that NATO can operate more effectively in the future”; and that Allies should “share the burden”. This is where the new Allies can prove their value. The action against terrorism puts into a new context the strategic process of enlargement. Further enlargement of NATO is now more valid than ever if we want NATO to remain an effective military organisation, with an enhanced political role but with operational strengths. Extending the boundaries of NATO will bring to the Alliance greater predictability and operational robustness, in particular on the southern flank. It will, finally erase the old Cold War division and complete a Europe that is whole and free.
8. As NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson pointed out at the November 2001 Sofia Summit of NATO candidate countries, there is no better insurance against terrorism than enlarging NATO by inviting stable, multi-ethnic, rule of law-based societies that share the same values that bind North America and Europe. Moreover, Europe’s new democracies have already acted as de facto allies. Without the pressure of treaty or law, they freely chose to assume the central obligation of NATO – Article 5 – that an attack on any member of the Euro-Atlantic community is an attack on all. Concrete support to military operations was provided: they opened airspace, airfields and port facilities to Allied forces; they committed intelligence assets, search and rescue personnel, and military forces to the campaign. They froze financial assets linked to terrorist groups and denied terrorists’ access to Europe. A new alliance emerged from 11 September when the 19 NATO members and Europe’s new democracies joined as de facto allies for a shared purpose.
9. The democracies of Central and Eastern Europe are reliable allies in countering 21st Century threats to the Trans-Atlantic community: terrorism, trans-border crime and ethnic or religious intolerance. With their mixed religious and ethnic populations, the new democracies in South Eastern Europe are a bridge between the West and the Islamic World. Each of them has a unique role to play in fostering stability, security and freedom from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Romania and Bulgaria are the most populous of the new European democracies. They are the tested partners in Bosnia, Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* and the war against terrorism.
From a geostrategic perspective, including Romania and Bulgaria in NATO will consolidate the Southern flank of the Alliance and strengthen its ability to address current security needs. Challenges remain in the Western Balkans. Surrounding the territory of the former Yugoslavia with stable and democratic NATO members will increase the prospects for economic and political success in the region. NATO’s strategic contiguity would be also ensured, since Romania and Bulgaria would link Northern and Central Europe with Greece and Turkey. The inclusion of Romania and Bulgaria will bring NATO to the Black Sea and provide the Alliance with permanent forward bases for air, land, and maritime traffic towards the Middle East and Central Asia.
B. SYNCHRONIZING EUROPEAN VALUES IN THE BALKANS
10. The struggle to win freedom, the intensity of their belief in the values of democracy and the market economy have created in Central and South-Eastern European new democracies a determination to make a difference within the Euro-Atlantic institutions. The energy that have applied in the transition process, the resilience that has endured a harshness of economic sacrifice that would hardly be tolerated, if at all, in the West - these are evidence that these countries have no intention of becoming passive recipients of security and prosperity from what we call the West of Europe. The determination to make an impact on Europe that will enhance its potential as a strategic global player of the 21st Century is more and more evident.
11. Every day, people in the Western Balkans, in Eastern Europe or in Central Asia, carry the burden of the transition from dictatorship to democracy, from conflict to co-operation. Every day, they have to battle against ethnic and religious intolerance, fundamentalism or ancient nationalist obsessions of the past. Terrorism and organized crime are diseases that flourish where the rule of law is absent, where poverty and deprivation rule. The prospect of synchronizing European values in these circumstances at times looks remote. A durable and politically sophisticated structure of ethnic agreements has been developed in the relations between Romania and Hungary, for example, unique in the region, which already has survived one change of government and is supported by all of the major parties.
12. There may be crises elsewhere that need attention, in the Middle East, in the Central Asian region, but it would be foolhardy to disengage NATO from the Balkans before we finish what we have started. The international community cannot afford to waste its investment. At the end of the day, the short-term savings in political energy, economic aid, the financial costs of peacekeeping, which would be redeployed elsewhere, will be surpassed by the negative consequences of pulling out too early. The international community must stay engaged. President Bush’s promise “In together, Out together” is welcome reassurance that the United States remains committed to security in the Balkans.
13. In the Balkans we are not out of the woods yet. Absence of war does not mean peace. Some of the old traits are still visible today. That is not to understate the progress achieved last year. 2001 closed more positively than it began, thanks to the new democratic regimes in Zagreb and Belgrade, the successful and historic elections in Kosovo, the containment of the crisis in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It is time to make the necessary efforts so that the people of Balkan countries understand the great volume of hard and honest work to be done before the European standards of living are achieved. Is there still a predisposition to violence in the Balkans? The author and journalist Misha Glenny charges the West with assuming, mistakenly in his view, that the traditions of enmity in the Balkans “were so powerful and longstanding that they had lodged themselves in the genetic make-up of the region’s inhabitants” and that “blood and revenge were the preferred forms of political discourse”. This is not necessarily true. The history of the Balkans, coupled with the rise to power of unscrupulous leaders, and, to a certain degree, the lack of focus from the international community, combined to bring about the chaos and conflict of the last decade.
14. The people of Kosovo have been given a historic opportunity for self-government, under UN Security Council Resolution 1244. Despite the democratic elections of November 2001, an agreement on a Government in Kosovo was hardly obtained. This cannot remain an international oasis forever but must be drawn into South Eastern European processes and programmes if the region is to prosper. We must find a definitive solution to the Kosovo problem that all concerned can live with. In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the continued physical separation of different ethnic communities, are detracting from the very necessary process of confidence building between communities. Three years after Dayton, there is still little sign of a real commitment to reconciliation. Too many indicted war criminals are skulking in hiding, instead of facing justice in The Hague. Throughout the region, the rate of return of displaced persons and refugees is still far from satisfactory. Little real progress has been made to give people back their homes.
15. The Southern Dimension of enlargement will strengthen NATO’s pro-active action against asymmetrical threats. Military co-operation through the Multinational Peacekeeping Force in South Eastern Europe, the joint fight against trans-border crime within the SECI Regional Centre, the political collaboration within the South Eastern Europe Co-operative Process, the South Eastern Europe Brigade, operational since May 2001, are examples of how South Eastern European countries can contribute to building lasting peace and stability in the region. The Regional Centre against Trans-border Crime located in Bucharest, Romania, for example, has seen successful in dismantling regional human and drug trafficking networks. NATO’s Southern expansion would strengthen the European barriers against criminal and terrorist activities from Central Asia and the Caucasus.
16. The most successful business in the Balkans is organized crime and trafficking of all kinds, drugs, human beings, weapons. An economy dependent on illegal gains might as well be built on quicksand. It can sink at any time. And let us not forget that organized crime is a major source of financing for terrorism. We know now from hard experience that terrorism plays no favorites. We are all targets. If the present trends continue, there is a danger that we will witness the birth of a new system of governance, no less harmful to the ordinary citizen than communism. New types of democracy, based not on the rule of law, but only on the rule of those laws that are convenient; based not on respect for diversity, but on intolerance and ethnic segregation; based not on convergence but on divergence. New types of economy, based not on transparency and functioning markets but on the pursuance of vested interests and on the infiltration of criminality in the political body. And new types of statehood, where the syndrome of dependency on the big powers endures and unsustainable states exist, independent only in name.
Does it matter? Yes, it matters to those people who live in the Balkans. Yes, it matters to those who live next door. Yes, it matters to the rest of Europe whose own stability can be threatened by the existence of a fragmented and fragile pocket in the very heart of the future European Union, sandwiched between the Adriatic and the Black Sea. But does it matter to the United States? President Bush was explicit in his State of the Union address that his top priority is the war against terrorism. We all share that concern and we all support that campaign. But however powerful the United States can be, the United States needs allies for that war, allies in Europe. And however prosperous the United States can be, the United States needs prosperous economic partners, partners in Europe. So, whatever endangers the security and prosperity of Europe is also a potential threat to the future security and prosperity of the United States. The Balkans is an integral part of the Southern Dimension of Europe. Ergo, the United States has a fundamental interest in seeing South Eastern Europe anchored in calm waters.
C. SHARED SUSTAINABILITY
17. What is the answer? We know the answer - in principle. Democratic government based on the rule of law and respect for human rights; transparency and accountability to the citizen; the development of a politically aware civil society and a free and independent media; the pursuit of economic reform programmes that deliver equal opportunity and tangible benefits to the population: jobs, decent salaries, and social security; a functioning and efficient public administration; the elimination of corruption and organized crime. Finishing the business, delivering the solution, needs determination and drive from all sides. From governments and populations themselves; supported by effective regional initiatives within the broader South?Eastern European region; and by continued and concerted action and assistance from the international community, primarily the UN, NATO, the EU and the OSCE. The most realistic basis for settling border issues in relation with minority right representation is again the prospect of future European integration for all the countries of the region.
18. The answer to the imperative of building lasting stability is to achieve self-sustainability through surrounding sustainability, and economic development through shared sustainability. This does not mean new structures or new institutions, but rather generating political and economic agreements between the countries of the region.
The people of the region deserve responsible political leaders who are prepared to assume ownership of governing institutions and take their people towards a better future. But the responsibility of rebuilding society does not rest with the political leaders alone. NGOs, the media, academics have an important role in developing a new mindset which is compatible with the criteria of Euro-Atlantic organizations that all aspire to join. People themselves must accept that it is time to end ethnic division and intolerance. They must recognize that "differences are something you live with, not something you fight about" [Nobel Peace Laureate John Hume to National Geographic, January 2002].
19. The European Union has held out the prize of European integration with the most powerful and wealthy States East of the Atlantic. But the road maps designed by the EC are not just sets of conditions for concluding Stabilization and Association Agreements (SAAs) and for receiving the economic benefits that SAAs will bring. They set out the basic steps that will form sustainable and functioning democracies striving not for European alimentation, to quote a study from the Bertelsmann Foundation, but for European integration. Political leaders should look at the road maps not as the EU steering the course, but as providing the propeller. Regional ownership is as critical as domestic measures. Given the complicated historical legacy and ethnic composition of the Balkan region, it is inevitable that developments in one country will have an impact on the others. Initiatives for regional integration that are driven by the countries themselves will do much to heal the scars of division, prevent the resurgence of tensions which can escalate into violence, and build a brighter future.
D. REGIONAL INITIATIVES IN SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE
20. The involvement in regional initiatives of countries that are, or very soon will be, members of NATO and the European Union - like Greece, Turkey, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria - is a significant advantage. They are the bridge between Western Europe and the Balkans. They could offer a shield of political and economic stability and a nucleus that radiates European values. The EU and countries in the Balkans have identified a set of priorities for regional co-operation in 2002, including:
· Trade and investment: completing the network of bilateral FTAs by the end of 2002; removing obstacles to private investment and monitoring the overall investment climate.
· Infrastructure (including energy): within SEECP, building up regional energy co?operation, based on a commitment to bring about a regional energy concept.
· Cross-border co-operation: reaching a sub-regional agreement between representatives from the former FRY components, Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, on functional cross-border issues (border management, infrastructure). Early regional agreements should be envisaged in all areas covered by SAAs.
· Fighting organized crime: strengthening the role of the Stability Pact Fighting Organized Crime Initiative and SECI Centre in Bucharest.
· Streamlining regional initiatives (CEI, BSEC, SECI, ICE), in order to harmonise approaches and activities.
The volume of regional activity is daunting and it is difficult to keep track of what is going on, where and with whom. The regional debate could help the process of inter-linking different activities (this would require careful co-ordination at the national level between all those involved one way or the other with SEE issues). Getting Western countries on board would help this process, and might contribute at a regional level to the development of a co-ordinated strategy for the Western Balkans. There is still a need to identify practical issues of common priority not already addressed in other frameworks and to include actions designed to promote rapid adoption of key European standards. In this context, the international community must persevere, with decisiveness and consistency.
21. International assistance should aim to remove the historical Balkan syndrome of dependency, aggravated by the Bosnia and Kosovo experiments, by concentrating on projects, which will build sustainable self-governing institutions and a functional public service. And the countries in the Balkans must redouble their efforts to engage in a concerted and co-ordinated way. Assistance from the EU, NATO and the US is crucial. And how greater a difference it can make when it is co-ordinated. The more effective the co-ordination mechanisms, the better the results. The restructuring of the international effort in Bosnia and Herzegovina has come about from recognition that greater rationalization is needed. Defusing the crisis in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and designing a peaceful way forward on the basis of the Ohrid Agreement, was made possible through the concerted efforts in 2001 of NATO, the European Union, the United States and the OSCE. The initiative of the European Union to assume the responsibilities of the International Policing Task Force (IPTF) in Bosnia and Herzegovina will be a major test for the EU’s new role in conflict prevention. At the same time, any European policing force should be open also to non-EU members, to take full advantage of the experience gained from OSCE policing activities in the region.
E. THE VISION OF THE UNITED EUROPE
22. This is how the distinguished Romanian sociologist, Anton Golopenţia - who was to die in 1951 in a communist prison – described in 1948 what he would call the "Pax Americana": "The classes, territories and populations that will be prevented from integrating in the culture and the civilization envisioned by the leaders of the peoples around the North Atlantic could develop into a hotbed of revolts and internal strife. If they are not helped to comprehend the objectives of modern culture and to reap the fruits of modern civilization, they will someday in all likelihood attack the mainstream of modern development with the very arms and resources that modern civilization will have put at their disposal."
23. What is the immense attraction of the European Union for Central Europeans? For many, it is the desire to belong to a European economic and social system, to belong to a system of real values. The desire to follow a path of irreversible political and economic reform that leads to economic integration in a well-ordered system that works, and that is able to take on the new challenges of globalisation. A system that provides access to advanced knowledge. Many Central and East Europeans believe it is their right to have access to these values because they have a claim morally and historically to solidarity. This is why it is inappropriate to cast the debate in terms of membership of the EU as compensation for non-membership of NATO or vice-versa.
24. The overwhelming majority of the citizens in these countries believe that integration in the European Union and NATO is the only true guarantee for the democratic sovereignty and the surest road towards prosperity and security for every citizen. Joining the EU and NATO are mutually reinforcing processes, based on common values and responsibilities. The aspirations to become a member of NATO are sometimes perceived as purely emotional and uninhibited by reason. But people in Central and South Eastern Europe have learned, at enormous human and economic cost, the true value of democracy and sovereignty based on the rule of law and human dignity. Now the political responsibility is to do away with old clichés and to face reality, however harsh this might sometimes be.
25. The debate over the moral claim to integration does not absolve the responsibility to adopt the rules and values that give substance to the European Union and coherence to NATO. The dilemma today is not whether to enlarge or to deepen. A new cohesion in Europe is possible through both enlargement and deepening of the Union. The Nice decision to launch a broad debate on the Future of the Union offers the opportunity to reconcile these two lines of thought. But this will be authentic only inasmuch as the contributions of the accession countries are taken into account. Accession by the candidate countries should not be delayed pending a successful outcome of the European Convention.
These are the elements of a new vision of the Future of Europe: synergy and competitiveness in a cohesive society built on cultural diversity. This approach advocates the elimination of economic division by encouraging equal opportunity and free access regardless of national identity. We will succeed in leaving behind the contradictions that still separate the East from the West only if we embark with sincerity and impartiality on a new contract: between the old Member States and the new ones on the one hand, and between the Union and its citizens on the other. In the first place, this calls for responsibility and serious commitment from candidate countries in implementing institutional reforms. Secondly, it calls for a new, ever-closer structural convergence between the EU and the newcomers to remove economic disparities, especially with support from the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund. Only on such basis can we shape a Social Europe.
Let us not forget that Europe’s main competitive advantage is the richness and diversity of its cultures and national capabilities. It is this very diversity and mobility that will make Europe more cohesive as far as society, culture, interests and competition are concerned. The great success of twelve years of post-Communism in Central Europe is the new democratic militancy of the young generation based on the determined application of the canons of liberty. Investing in education and stimulating the democratic spirit are essential in any European construction. Let us not forget that the fundamental element of a modern society is an open civil society.
F. RUSSIA’S STRATEGIC POLICY AND CO-OPERATION WITH NATO
26. Being pro-Western does not mean neglecting the relations with the East. However difficult it may be to draw in Eastern neighbours, the European circle cannot be completed without their inclusion. Enhancement of the NATO-Russia strategic relationship will be beneficial in terms of building a new confidence and pragmatic partnerships with Russia. The lessons learned in 2001 show that each of the Central and Eastern democracies has a unique role to play in fostering stability, security and freedom from the Black Sea to the Baltic. An overall priority of this process should be also to make the Black Sea the hub of efforts to build a larger economic area of co?operation compatible with EU rules and to develop inter-connected co-operation within the Eastern, Black Sea, Caspian, and Central Asian dimensions.
27. The equilibrium of European and Euro-Atlantic construction can only be secured in keeping with the imperative pattern of a dynamic security, the security of a world that is both more predictable and more creative. Co-operation with Russia has acquired a new significance after 11 September, especially when seen and approached within the context of still persistent uncertainties as regards the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy. The current prospects for the relations with Russia, evolving along two separate lines – Russia-EU and Russia-NATO – pose the problem of pursuing a dual strategy: a political one with NATO and an economic one with EU. We should, perhaps, be wary of a possible increase in speed in the latter case. However, it has to be also noted that President Putin has lately engaged in a more transparent understanding of diplomacy by affirming "the necessity for a fundamentally renewed framework of the relations between Russia and the West". On the other hand, if NATO is to retain its central role as an effective security organization, in no way could we imagine giving a veto over its decisions to an external party. This is a vital safeguard clause in any future engagement of the United States and the EU towards Russia.
28. We believe that we can discern a dual strategy in Russia’s current policies, one that can be illustrated by the analogy with an open pair of scissors. On the one hand, economic modernization, pragmatic co-operation with the West and a determined pursuit of its interests in the global arena; on the other, the gradual emergence of structures of an old extraction, dedicated to rebuilding a status of global superpower for Russia.
29. The two options encompass a variable scope, depending on which realistic option is assumed. As long as the two options coexist, nothing is really sure. The scope for mutual confidence between the United States and Russia increases or decreases depending on diplomacy taking one option or the other.
In the case of what we could call a third option, "the Putin option", diplomacy would no longer be directed at securing gains for only one side at the expense of the other. There are significant advantages in a positive sum approach for both the West and Russia.
Russia’s apparent course towards the Western system steered by President Putin is similar in historical terms to the one imposed two and a half centuries ago by Peter the Great: modernizing Russia and making it into a great power by adopting the techniques and standards of the West.
30. In the case of Russia, a realistic strategic foreign policy cannot serve for both opening the Russian society to the world and reversing Russia’s political course. It cannot aim to carry out the economic reform in the interest of acquiring a status of economic superpower, and to revive obsolete imperial ambitions at the same time.
Today, Russia is not in a situation where it has to close ranks to defend itself against a "hostile external pressure". Russia, just like all the other former communist countries, needs to mobilize its forces to regenerate the viable economic capacity needed in the present global context. This is the only option, the one that will allow Russia to make full use of its exceptional natural resources, but also of its genuine human potential and its civilization.
31. Russia remains a country with huge creative resources and will soon be able to present itself on the global markets with a large range of valuable products. Russia’s economic growth in 2000, although due in great part to its oil industries, was already the biggest in two decades.
32. Credible international analyses point out to Russia’s difficulties in ensuring an effective, democratic control of the armed forces and secret services. The expression that I heard in Belgrade after the fall of Milosevic "the demilitarisation of patriotism" perfectly summarizes, I think, Russia’s current problem in this regard. There is a feeling of "déjà vu", as we witness how political disputes pertaining to defence policies are settled; how certain military operations in areas impervious to public scrutiny are transferred to the secret services; how "Soviet concepts and objectives" are reintegrated in the military discourse, on assumptions such as "otherwise, Russia can no longer be Russia" or "Russia will be back anyway"; how a certain way of using pressures in the Commonwealth of Independent States space can still be considered legitimate. The same can be said of the still widespread opinion that "the defence industry is the engine of economic revival".
33. We are often told that the West should not "let itself be deluded" by Russia’s current course. In my view, we should avoid the "romantic disposition" of embracing Russia unconditionally, in order to see it through the eyes of the new Europe, free and undivided, as well as the rather irrational attitude that wants us to see Russia as "a lie wrapped in a golden foil". The end of the Cold War enables us to affirm our political and democratic sovereignty in our own interest, not against Russia or any other entity.
34. This only means that our responsibility in politics is to put this objective in a realistic equation, and do away with old clichés. We cannot ask Russia to abandon its old clichés while preserving our own. We would be caught in a vicious circle of distrust perpetually breeding distrust.
35. Moscow's persistent reluctance to acknowledge and apologize for past crimes committed by the Soviet regime reminds me of a remark that an important European political leader made to me a few months after the execution of Ceausescu. I was explaining that many of the problems we were facing in Romania, for which we were severely criticized by the West (for instance the dramatic situation of children in orphanages), were just inherited from the Ceausescu era. The answer was blunt: "But isn't it the same country, isn't it the same people? Stop blaming the past and fully assume your responsibility as a leader of the new Romania, even if you were among those who fought empty-handed against Ceausescu’s machine-guns!"
36. A new partnership with Russia, which can realistically take into account both the progress made by this country and any potential “side-slipping”, is a real challenge for diplomacy as we are trying to find a new point of equilibrium, one that is difficult to reach and maintain. In laying the foundations for this equilibrium, there can be no de-coupling between Europe and the United States, as we cannot dissociate Europe’s security from the overall security of the Western world. If Russia shares our vision for a Europe united in freedom and democracy, it will be easy to acknowledge the extent to which Russia follows the same path. If this is not the case, we should not, in any way at any price, sacrifice our European construction. Such a vision for Europe is not, as some could argue, an obstacle to our coming closer with Russia. It is, in fact, the prerequisite for that to happen. Russia is and will be a great country. No matter how its future will take shape, Russia will respect its partners’ firm and clear choices. If, as we do hope, Russia genuinely follows the path of democracy, this is in its own advantage, since a united Europe will not only be a greater Europe, but a stronger one as well.
III. ADDRESSING THE NEED TO MODERNIZE NATO: STRENGTHENING AND INCREASING THE CO-ORDINATION OF THE CIVIL DIMENSION OF THE SECURITY ACTIVITIES IN THE NEW POST-PRAGUE NATO
“It is not that everything falls into place and is logical. It’s confusion and rage and jealousy and tears and no one knowing what things mean or which way they’re going to.”
Michael Frayn, “Copenhagen”
A. DEVELOPING TRUE LEADERSHIP IN THE BALKANS
37. The citizens of the Balkans, in spite of their great diversity as regards religion, ethnic origin and statesmanship, have something very real in common. They are all in pursuit of peace and of a fair pattern of prosperity. If security in the Balkans is, undoubtedly, still one of NATO’s purposes, there is certainly still a lot to do to help the Balkan countries, politically and economically, to develop a democratic and efficient framework of governance. Do the values and institutions of the West make sense in the Balkans? Yes they do, but only if the making of liberal democracies and market economies always remain the choices. Why these choices? Simply because they are the only viable alternatives to violence, hatred and malignant political ambitions, unfortunately still lingering in the Balkans. The “new democracy” as well as the “new economy” - which are indeed "new" but still reflect the same old greed, cynicism and intolerance - are developing in a "new" form of governance.
38. Today, the costs of the so-called “new governance” in the Balkans can be easily evaluated and/or envisaged. Among delineating attributes we can notice: the establishment and the dominion of a network of political and business clientele; the politicization of the state institutions (with wash back effects in the fields of health, education, the judiciary, banks, the public radio or TV); the supremacy of the politico-administrative bureaucracy over the civil society and the state institutions, is a phenomenon leading to a true subjugation of the state and its citizens. On the other hand, the ever?deepening phenomenon and practices of running the economy through an “obedient clientele” tend to become the staple policy of the governing party. Moreover, we can witness governance strategies that, in time, have come to resuscitate the antidemocratic reflexes, the temptation of negotiating the state prerogatives and competence, the official regulations framework included.
39. In actual fact, the state of law and the functional markets are the keystones of that democratic system which may accommodate citizens with real chances of pursuing their own destiny and not the one imposed by political and economic networks. Those at the helm of such politico-economic “clientele-like” systems are just pathetic “wishful thinkers”, at the best ! They promise to reinstate order and confidence in these Balkan communities, so much shaken by wars, violence and disintegration. However, a genuine improvement of the welfare standards of the citizens, following clear-cut avenues, properly assumed and publicised, are still far from being foreseeable.
40. The working framework of good governance is well known and includes:
· civil liberties, accountability and freedom of the press;
· political stability, achieved only when a set of priorities is widely accepted and, implicitly, leads to the establishment of a working political consensus;
· effective policy-making and public service delivery, both indicative of governance effectiveness and accountability;
· an honest and credible set of regulations, the prerequisite of a sound development course for private investments;
· protection of property rights and an independent judiciary, indicative of the fact that there is a genuinely operational rule of law and the political will to control corruption.
41. In the present report I have tried to describe situations that face any responsible and democratic system of governance that has already retrieved a lot from a period of transition. Romania’s experience, just as that of other countries in the process of transition, has offered a sufficiently clear picture of the characteristics underlying a working market economy. It is, perhaps, worth mentioning some of these, considering the undeniable distance still to be covered in order to reach such desiderata. To sum up, a genuinely working market economy means:
· unrestricted access, on the open market, for internal products and services;
· a fair-chance competition for all economic agents;
· operational market competition rules, intended to ensure an undistorted process of establishing prices, in keeping with the supply and demand law;
· full transparency in public acquisition operations;
· eliminating the counterproductive tendencies of market division, through non-contractual agreements between economic agents in competition;
· independent, ongoing process and unbiased operation of the state institutions in charge of the economic and financial monitoring and control;
· a transparent system of taxation and the elimination of those unfortunate “exceptions” that impair or even bar competition to the detriment of some efficient economic actors in action;
· a proper and fair functioning of the judiciary, free of biased or frequently postponed decisions.
42. Any genuine political action, that is an efficient and sincere one, leads to the transformation of the numerous complicated situations existing in those societies disrupted and torn apart by conflicts and badly-managed transitions. For any society it is more than necessary to understand properly the needs and the potential of those abandoned and left to their own fate by the same conflicts and transitions and to raise merits to the status of real values. For any society it is more than necessary to prove that politics does not betray those deprived of means of protection when facing the arbitrary and the greed of the mafia-like networks.
43. Developing true leadership in the Balkans is the primary task for those promoting security, stability and democracy. Of course, in this respect, NATO and EU come first. Leadership based on true and sound knowledge, devoted to collective action and carried out through systematic participation and consensus-building approaches will always read as the guarantee for the afore?mentioned desiderata.
44. Sociological research may, just as well, be rendered necessary for supplying more exact answers to questions such as:
· do the peoples of the Balkans, historically speaking, exhibit lack of confidence in reforms?
· is the cultural pattern of each and every people perceived as a decisive, underlying element in promoting and pursuing the values of security and self?defence? And if so … how do they read?
I insist upon the complementary approach of political action and sociological research, as I consider obvious the fact that traditions and institutions can deeply determine the manner in which authority is exercised in a particular country.
45. At the same time, mass media insistently go on arguing upon the criteria and requirements to be met in order to join NATO or the EU. The recurrent tendency professed by some government leaders in order to avoid direct political responsibility by advertising the formula: “this is what is required”, often incurs considerable political costs and is, definitely, counter?productive. This is something we have clearly to recognize and honestly admit.
I have frequently heard formulae like: “Yes, these are the NATO and these are the EU requests and requirements”, …. as if a country governed in accordance with NATO and EU criteria and the same country, populated by its people and governed for their benefit, were seen as two different entities! Well, this is obviously a glaring and unpardonable error.
It goes without saying that an efficient economy, with losses and waste eliminated through privatization and a proper economic management is, clearly, not only a NATO and/or an EU requirement but, first and foremost, the natural and legitimate desire of the citizens themselves.
46. The decisive actions taken for eradicating corruption and defending public money and wealth against onerous business carried out through traffic of influence is not only something expected and encouraged by NATO, the EU and the IMF, but something openly demanded by the great majority of the population whose financial condition and welfare is sorely affected by such practices.
Indeed, we cannot say that we keep our promise towards our Western partners, if we actually break the promise given to our own nation. NATO as well as the EU urges us to comply with what the citizens wish.
To cut a long story short, what we do need in the Balkans is a pertinent, coherent and well?articulated strategy directed towards a benefic development of civil society.
47. Only as “voices from within” will all the legitimate political actors be able to initiate and support, with determination and efficiency, programs and regulations that will enhance the prestige and the accountability of political leaders and, hence, achieve greater openness and transparency, as well as motivated public commitment.
To build now, and not later, a more responsible civil service, by recruiting and promoting on criteria of professional value and merit as opposed to interests of political patronage or affiliation to vested interests, would be most beneficial for any Balkan nation.
B. PERSPECTIVES FOR THE NATIONS OF THE BALKANS
48. For the past decade, the Western Balkans have been sorely racked by conflict and ethnic division. Thankfully, we have come to see an end to outright war. However, can we confidently argue that the potential danger of conflict recurrence has totally disappeared? What have we learnt from the experiences of the past 10 years? What can be done to ensure that the ugly spectre of violence does not re-emerge in this region? And if so, who will be responsible for it?
49. We can assert with deep conviction that, now, democracy is the main and sole principle underlying and guiding the development of the countries in South Eastern Europe. The region has made enormous strides in the past year. Yet, the overall risk is for the democratic principle to become an empty formula, one devoid of meaning and purpose. Therefore, it stands to reason that more devoted efforts and well?targeted commitments are continuously needed for achieving a sustainable democratic system in the Balkans. Some of the factors of risk, still present, are:
· the weak economic situation;
· a syndrome of dependency on major powers and international organisations;
· the legacy of ethnic division, such as that in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo;
· the unfinished process of the return of the displaced population throughout the region, as well as the recovery and rehabilitation of the broken communities;
· the absence of a properly functional administrative and legal framework, unanimously acknowledged at the level of the local communities;
· the spectre of nationalist resurgence;
· corruption and crime;
50. The conflicts and the crises already witnessed in the Balkans legitimately point to the need to put the accent on early warning and preventive action and strategies. Basically, the international community and the states in the region have to identify, assert and evaluate all potential problems and search for solutions and act in due time, before things get worse. Prevention is always cheaper than cure, just as any prophylactic treatment is the only way to avoid terminal stages of “diseases,” in the social, economic or political domains.
Similarly, early intervention has to be complemented by synchronised action on behalf of the international community. Needless to say that, according to many key figures and expert observers, the tragedies in Bosnia and Kosovo could not be averted because of the limited nature and scope of the international intervention and because of the inadequate coordination among the main international players.
51. We have learnt a lot and, hopefully, enough from our past mistakes. So, it would be unfair not to mention certain good examples of properly?coordinated international effort and action regarding:
· Bosnia and in Kosovo;
· the Stability Pact (which groups, under the same umbrella, countries from and outside the region);
· certain European and international organizations;
· the fact that well?coordinated and shared effort coming from the main international organizations for security in Europe (EU, NATO, OSCE) in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, last year, proved that conflict prevention is not only possible, but also efficient.
52. There is also clear evidence that ad hoc local solutions to short-term local problems is not the answer. The international community needs to have a wider picture of the region, one based on continued commitment to find long-term solutions, both at international and at regional and national level. Such a commitment should be based on the firm belief that successful and sustainable political and economic transition cannot be achieved overnight. Long-term solutions need long-term efforts. Diverting focus too early could definitely lead to a “volcano eruption”, again.
53. The involvement of the international community is too often seen by our public and our media as a peacekeeping dimension of intervention. The work that goes on behind the TV cameras or in written discourse targeted towards issues connected to building state institutions, strengthening the legislative system, moulding up civil society, and so on, often goes unnoticed outside the region. The international community should understand the need to be prepared and act for long-term assistance, primarily focused on institution building. It is, again, obvious that as national institutions grow stronger, the need for any international peacekeeping presence will gradually decrease. International presence on the ground can always provide sustained advice, consultancy, guidance and objective and constructive observation.
54. During difficult transition periods, the EU, the European countries and the international financial institutions should be generous with economic assistance. The EU Stabilisation and Association Process represents an important incentive for the necessary reforms. Therefore, a more project-focused economic assistance is needed to assure that the result will not be dependency but sustainable economic growth.
55. The promise of a perspective of EU accession, even if a long-term one, may offer to the states and nations of the Balkans a common objective they have never had before. A substantial and well?articulated program of reforms will, then, remain the essence of the EU interest in the Balkans.
The legitimately and long-expected result is, obviously, economic reconstruction and development, as well as political stabilization and security.
The history of violent ethnic and territorial conflicts should not necessarily be seen as an obstacle on this road. State sovereignty has been, still is and will remain a very popular goal. Even those minorities striving for total autonomy do consider that state and nation building should come first in their future programs of development.
56. The problem lies within the conceptualization and implementation of highly ambitious projects focused on modernization and integration. In these countries, the still-existing gap between substantial sovereignty and the true exercise of democratic rule is too wide to think that overcoming it is simply a matter of time. The political will and the firm hand of the European Community remain decisive in order to guide and accelerate the processes of stabilization and sustainable development.
57. A recent assessment of EU foreign policy in the Balkans ("Reassessing EU foreign policy. Challenges and tasks in the post-September 11 era”, Center for Applied Policy Research, May 2002) indicates that “the current dominant trend towards short-lived strategic alliances and exit- strategies still persists”. A regional approach towards intensive dialogue, active political diplomacy and well-targeted economic co-operation should be the European policies for the Balkans.
58. If we agree with Jean Monnet and the words written by him in 1963: “European unity is the most important event in the West … because the institutional method it introduces is permanently modifying the relations between nations and men”, it would be appropriate for us to think in the same way about the future of the Balkans. The Balkans should never be seen and approached as an “insulated and unhealthy part of Europe” (when, in true fact, this region is the core of Europe) but as a future, legitimate part of the United Europe. Any new mechanisms resorted to should evolve towards giving an enlarged Europe not only unity but also appropriate flexibility in dealing with the present and near future still complicated region of the Balkans.
59. An early-intervention system in the region will enable the international community to be more attentive to warning signals, such as isolated incidents of violence, improper electioneering tactics, continuous discrimination on ethnic or religious grounds, outbursts of extreme nationalism. All these are often the spark igniting more destructive trends or courses of action. The international community would pay itself no service if it waited for them to flare up.
60. Regional co-operation is a must in the Balkans. Equally, constructive and adequate assistance from the international community can always be reinforced by effective co-operation at regional level, through developing and implementing concrete projects in the economic, social and institutional areas. Similarly, some of the obstacles, still persistent and perceived with reticence by the countries in the region, as well as some not very well-grounded regional co-operation initiatives, could be successfully overridden by helpful counselling and pertinent assistance coming from the international community. Enhanced economic co-operation needs to be matched by re-establishing mature political relations among the countries of the region. If governments set a good example of good neighbourliness, people will surely follow suit. Relations of good neighbourliness need to be based on overall intensified progress on the return of refugees, an essential factor for the reconstruction of multi-ethnic societies and, implicitly, for securing regional stability.
61. An important series of elections have taken or are to take place by the end of this year in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Considering such context of events it stands to reason that any actions on behalf of the international community and/or the countries outside the region should take into consideration the importance of elections in shaping a democratic system in the region.
62. Central and local NGO expertise and capacity of intervention are needed for designing and implementing projects for campaigns focused on the education of the electorate and on efficient observation and monitoring of the elections. Last but not least, constructive support for independent media, as a source of objective coverage of political platforms, should be part of the international community agenda as well.
63. The EU integration process and the focus on reinforcing external borders for an enlarged EU, requires a new outlook regarding the concept of borders in general. The borders of the Stabilisation and Association Process countries will lie within the external boundaries of the enlarged EU. Obviously, therefore, different contractual relationships between these countries and the EU is needed for minimizing the future side-effects and for facilitating EU accession for these countries. New formulae need to be found in order to generate and facilitate constructive discussions and result in viable decisions for the EU candidates and Stabilisation and Association Process countries on issues such as: the common border security policy, the common asylum policy, the creation of common strategies and instruments for border protection.
Also, sets of innovative solutions need to be designed in order to solve the dilemma between participation and compliance. As is well known, the traditional system was based on decisions designed and taken by the EU member states, on the one hand, and the adoption of the acquis communautaire by the others, alongside with their course of accession process. As some of the issues are of direct and immediate concern both to the EU member states and to the EU candidate and Stabilisation and Association Process countries, new consultation procedures need to be resorted to and put into practice accordingly.
64. A year ago, President Havel said that the North Atlantic Alliance is "becoming not only an important pillar of international security, but also a solid, understandable and trustworthy component of the architecture of a future world order; and a model of solidarity in the defence of human liberties." Why, for instance, once integrated in a larger Europe should the Balkans not be able to serve as a gateway in the effort to revive areas close to Europe? Here, I have in mind the Caucasus, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea areas. Then, why should the Balkans not extend a friendly hand to Islam as well? This is the fundamental motivation also for the enlargement and consolidation process underway within the European Union, its development of a European Security and Defence Policy including strengthened capabilities for conflict prevention and crisis management, and for the new focus on outreach to the countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
65. The intense will for change that is driving the nations of Central Europe and the Balkans into designing their future destiny is precisely the energy that Euro-Atlantic solidarity needs today. All of them belong to a historic generation marked by the revolution for democratic values. All of them belong to a historic cycle that has transformed the political map of a Europe once divided by the Iron Curtain. All of them, each in their own way, possess the strength to introduce massive change in pursuit of those basic values that are the very essence of what the EU and NATO stand for. The citizens of these countries have proved that they have vision and courage. Isn’t this precisely what the Alliance needs now, more than ever? This is also consistent with President Havel’s words one year ago: Let the Prague Summit be "a genuine breakthrough in the quest for a new world order emanating from mutual respect between equal partners within the present global civilization; from their shared dedication to the auspicious sides of this civilization; and from their shared will to fight everything that jeopardizes a better future for humankind".
66. By word of ending, I could only sum up by saying that the equilibrium of the European and Euro-Atlantic construction can only be secured in keeping with the imperative of a dynamic security, the security of a world that is both more predictable and more creative.