The Role of the EU in Stabilizing the Balkans, 1991-2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009
12:00-1:30 pm
1219 International Affairs Building

The Harriman Institute presents a talk by Ana S. Trbovich, Faculty of Economics, Finance and Administration (FEFA), University of Singidunum, Belgrade.

In response to the disintegration of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia in 1991, the EU (then the European Community) devised a recognition policy that was politically and legally controversial, particularly in the case of Yugoslavia where the home state did not consent to secession of its administrative units. Yet the EU’s recognition policy was also progressively innovative in that it aimed to impose high human and minority rights standards on the new states. However, these norms were not applied in practice, which undermined the potentially mitigating and reconciliatory effect of the recognition policy. Following the wars, the European Union endorsed the conditionality policy towards the Western Balkans, using the European integration process and its economic assistance (and withholding of these as a stick) to stimulate reforms that would stabilize the region, yet again with selective application. Trbovich will examine the successes and missed opportunities of the EU’s approach, discuss the lessons learned, and provide recommendations for future policy.

Dr Ana S. Trbovich teaches European Integration, Negotiations and Management of Public Administration at the Faculty of Economics, Finance and Administration (FEFA), University of Singidunum, Belgrade, Serbia, and serves as the Policy and Workforce Development Director of USAID Competitiveness Project. From 2002 to 2006, Dr Trbovich served as Assistant Minister of International Economic Relations in the Government of Serbia, charged with coordinating Serbia’s EU accession process and foreign investment policies. She holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, two Masters Degrees (MALD, Fletcher School; MPA, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard) and a BA from Tufts University. Dr Trbovich further specialized in the European Union policies at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques. She is the author of A Legal Geography of Yugoslavia’s Disintegration (Oxford University Press, 2008) and numerous articles in the field of economics, European integration and public sector management.