Raynell ANDREYCHUK (Canada)
The report provides a brief overview of the security environment in the Western Balkans. It argues that NATO and the European Union need to remain engaged to encourage the countries of the region to continue their reform process, providing assistance when necessary.
The paper covers the political, economic, and social challenges that the countries of the region are facing and measures the progress that has been achieved as well as the work that still needs to be done. The Rapporteur notes that the European Union and the Alliance cannot take the positive evolution of Western Balkan democracy for granted and warns that a vacuum would be quickly filled by forces with a decidedly anti-democratic and anti-Western agenda. A new crisis in the Western Balkans would have grave repercussions for European security and stability.
The paper concludes that NATO’s continued military presence and its political engagement with partner countries of the Western Balkans are crucially important for regional stability. The EU should show its political support and affirm that its door will remain open for the accession of the Western Balkan countries when they are ready. The EU needs to foster and push for the continuation, and indeed the deepening, of the reform processes.