The Future of NATO and EU integration of the Western Balkans: Is there Still a Role for the US?

Co-Founder and Senior Associate Kurt Bassuener speaks at well-attended Washington DC event held by the Emerging Democracies Institute on November 25, 2013 at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Speakers also included Jonathan Moore, Director of the Office for South Central European Affairs in State Department and Haki Abazi, Program Director for the Western Balkans of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. The full event can be seen on video at:

Each panelist spoke for roughly 10 minutes, responding to moderator and host Reuf Bajrovic’s question and the panel’s theme. Jonathan Moore responded to a query on the meaning of Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland’s statement at the Atlantic Council that a “re-assessment” of US policy might be in order and gave an overview of the US policy toward the region. Asked whether the region could move forward, Haki Abazi’s remarks revolved around the pervasive nature of organized crime and “illicit economy” region wide, giving an example of the energy sector, and underscored the importance of rule of law. Kurt Bassuener was asked how it was feasible to get “a Kosovo that is independent and recognized by Belgrade.” His remarks centered on the need for American engagement – and for high-level engagement with Germany on the region, as well as Bosnia’s deep-seated institutional maladies. The session was very well-attended, with 80+ in the room. Three rounds of questions and answers developed on themes from the initial panel.