Taking a look at the brief history of international intervention in the Balkan region will elucidate some of the reasons for intervention, the aims of those who intervene and the consequences of their actions, which often differed from their aspirations.
The main issue discussed in this article is the contemporary remarkable continuities in the approach of the western world towards the Balkan states, with multilateral intervention largely being driven by a desire to contain crisis and maintain the status quo in a region perceived as lying on the periphery of Europe. With the exception of Greece, it was only until the mid-1990s when the policy was prefigured earlier, have there been signs that such approach might be replaced by a qualitatively different one based on contractual engagement and a possibility of eventual integration into the European mainstream. Contrastingly, the meaning of integration for the Balkan space remains vague.
Within the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe and the Stabilization and Association Process there are suggestions that it could eventually lead to EU accession and, certainly, this is the dream of many within the region. ...Show more