As a no-deal Brexit becomes increasingly likely, the chronicle of EUFOR Althea exposes the operational, strategic and political challenges facing EU defence today.
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The Kremlin’s attempt to prevent North Macedonia joining NATO created some difficulties but proved to be rather clumsy and damaging to Russia’s own interests.
On 27-28 June 2018, the European Leadership Network hosted a roundtable discussion in the UK House of Lords examining the political, security and economic conditions in the Western Balkans and how best to promote stability and democratic reform across the region. The meeting was co-chaired by Lord Browne of Ladyton and ELN member and former Albanian Defence Minister, Fatmir Mediu.
ELN Senior Associate Fellow Nicholas Williams argues that, even if the EU’s military function in Bosnia has evolved from a deterrent to a reassurance role, the military presence could at some stage become an obstacle to progress towards EU membership.
EU and NATO need to stay engaged in the Western Balkans. They should also heed the warnings on supporting so-called ‘stabilocracies’ and priorities real resilience instead.