13 May 2009
ESI presentation on the situation in the Balkans to the OSI Board in New York
New York. Photo: flickr/fergusonphotography
New York. Photo: flickr/fergusonphotography

Gerald Knaus presented on the situation in the Balkans to the OSI Board in New York. Among those present were George Soros, OSI Chairman, Ivan Krastev, Chairman of the Board, Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia, Heather Grabbe, Head of the OSI's Brussels office, and other members of the board.

Gerald's main line of argument was that parts of the Western Balkan region might remain in limbo for some time to come, caught between a post-conflict past and an uncertain European future, burdened by high unemployment and weak institutions, and (in the worst case scenario) isolated from the rest of the world. Complacency, based on a belief in the all-curing potential of European integration, is not warranted, particularly when the EU itself has not offered countries like Serbia or Bosnia a sufficiently credible membership perspective. Even if a return to conflict appears implausible, this alone does not ensure a path towards stability.