“Great Europe”: A Pan-European Perspective on the Future of Europe

  • P. Garonna
  • Y. He

The Amato Report (see International Commission on the Balkans 2005) confronts the European Union (EU) with a very difficult dilemma with respect to the Western Balkans: either the EU proceeds with the enlargement and integrates the Balkan countries into the EU, thus ensuring stability, prosperity, and democracy in this troubled area and, consequently, in the whole EU, or the EU will be compelled to increasingly intervene in the Balkans in order to solve instability and underdevelopment crises, maintain peace and humanitarian assistance, fight corruption, criminality, and illegal immigration, while investing substantial financial political and military resources in the process. In other words the EU is facing a crossroads: enlargement or empire (Krastev 2005). The instability at its borders and the stall of the enlargement process is in fact causing an escalation of interventions and risks to create a set of “protectorates” or “supported areas” in the neighbouring countries (consider for instance Kosovo, but also in some respects Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina) always on the edge between stability and instability, development and underdevelopment, democracy and authoritarian involutions. The course of growing humanitarian, security, or assistance interventions of the EU can be considered (in terms of the Amato Report) as some sort of European “neo-imperial” perspective towards neighbouring areas or areas included in its “sphere of influence”. This road is proving very costly and risks being ineffective at mid-term. It contrasts with the outstanding success of the EU enlargement policies, which at a relatively limited cost, have seen candidate countries and new members meet the challenge of the necessary economic and institutional reforms and, through economic integration, take the road to financial reorganization, democratic consolidation, and development. Therefore, in the light of the most recent experience, the enlargement is cost effective for the EU compared with neo-imperial external support and intervention strategies! This is the conclusion of the Amato Report, presenting a plan to have all Balkan countries take the necessary steps to join the EU within approximately 10 years from the date of the report, i.e. around 2015.


European Union Member State Foreign Direct Investment Economic Integration Candidate Country 
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Copyright information

© Physica-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Garonna
    • 1
  • Y. He
    • 2
  1. 1.Economic Commission for EuropePalais des NationsGeneva 10Switzerland
  2. 2.Capacity Building and Field Operations BranchUN Office of the High Commissioner for Human RightsGenevaSwitzerland

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