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Bodo Hombach Martti Ahtisaari

Hombach's Pact

April 2001

In 2000 and 2001, ESI was invited by the chairman of East West Institute, Martti Ahtisaari, to take a closer look at the impact of the Stability Pact for the Balkans. This was an ambitious project and the conclusions, after many months of research, were sobering:

"According to its founding documents, the Pact was to address all of the most pressing problems of South Eastern Europe. … In reality, the Stability Pact has been given almost no new instruments or resources to advance these goals. By default, it has become a loose co-ordinating structure over a selection of existing international efforts."

ESI recommended a focus on the regional energy sector and on police cooperation:

"A concrete proposal is to commit Western donors substantially to increase support to regional governments in reforming their energy sectors in return for a commitment by these governments to create a genuine common market, integrated with that of the European Union."
"The study also proposes significantly more support for institution building to strengthen the capacity of states in the region to fight trans-border crime, while holding out the concrete promise of easier access to the European Union for their citizens."

The first recommendation was later implemented. Stability Pact Coordinator Bodo Hombach was nonetheless not entirely happy with the report's critical tone.

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