Turkey as a stakeholder and contributor to regional security
in the Western Balkans
Adam Balcer, Turkey as a stakeholder and contributor to regional security in the Western Balkans, Debating Security in Turkey, Challenges and Changes in the Twenty-First Century, Edited by Ebru Canan-Sokullu, Lexington Books, Lanham, MD, 2012, pp. 219-236.
Between 1991 and 2001, the Western Balkans saw the most bloody armed conflicts in Europe since World War II. The security situation in the region improved significantly at the beginning of the 21st century. Since the end of the war in Kosovo (1999) and Macedonia (2001), the security challenges in the Western Balkans have shifted from hard security issues, to soft security ones. Even though the risk of large-scale military conflicts was practically reduced to zero, the region continues to pose a potential threat to the soft security of Europe. As a country with historical, social, economic, cultural and security stakes in the region, Turkey is an important stakeholder and a contributor to regional stability in the Western Balkans, especially concerning the soft security challenges. The Western Balkans stabilization process proceed much more smoothly if, give Turkey’s potential, the EU and countries in this region significantly improved cooperation with Ankara on security issues. Mutual aid in the field of security between Turkey and the EU has to be seen in broader terms, as it also affects the future of the EU’s CSDP.
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