Press Releases


Western Balkans Summit in Berlin

Toxic climate and uphill battle

The German government is planning only small steps for tomorrow’s Western Balkans Summit (which is part of the Berlin Process). The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) criticized that the major challenges might be neglected: “In the states of the Western Balkans, there has not been a real process of coming to terms with the past – and the atrocities of the war in the 1990s were not thoroughly investigated. Also, the EU does not have a common position regarding the region. This is why Russia and China increasingly see these states as opportunities to attack to weaken Europe,” explained Jasna Causevic, the STP’s expert on genocide prevention and the Responsibility to Protect. “The situation has become even more precarious due to Russia’s war against Ukraine. Thus, it is now especially important to ensure that sufficient international security forces will remain stationed in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the long term. Serbia and Kosovo must normalize their relations. Also, the region needs a realistic perspective of being accepted into NATO and the EU.”

There are no objections to the planned minor agreements or to more cooperation in the energy sector. However, these plans would not defuse the dangerous situation. “As long as Serbian ethno-nationalists such as Aleksandar Vuvic and Milorad Dodik are cooperating with Russia in order to destabilize the region, positive development is impossible. There re still thousands of war criminals in Serbia and the Serb-dominated part of Bosnia wh have not been punished, and several judgments of international courts are not recognized. Bosnia’s own court cases were delayed for years. This is poison for any relationship,” Causevic said. “In addition, an extension of the EUFOR mission is still pending. It is quite possible that Russia will refuse its consent – thus creating a security vacuum that NATO would have to fill.”