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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs > Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Releases > Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Fact Sheets > Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Fact Sheets (2005)
Fact Sheet
Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Washington, DC
February 17, 2005

U.S.-EU Cooperation in the Balkans

The United States and the European Union (EU) share the goal of progressively integrating the Balkan countries into the Euro-Atlantic structures, as reaffirmed at the 2004 NATO summit in Istanbul. The values of democracy, the rule of law, respect for human and minority rights, and a market economy constitute the foundations of the Euro-Atlantic community. The pace of integration lies in the hands of the countries of the region.

The U.S. strongly supports the EU’s position that the future of the countries of the Balkans is within the European Union. The framework for the EU’s approach to South East Europe – the Stabilization and Association Process (SAP) – offers these countries the long-term prospect of full integration into EU structures. The EU's assistance program, Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development, and Stabilization (CARDS), supports the countries in pursuing their objectives under the SAP. The EU has allocated €4.65 billion (around $6.05 billion) in its framework for the period 2002-2006. During the same period, the U.S. has allocated $2.8 billion in assistance.

The U.S. and the EU have been working closely together for the last ten years to stabilize and prevent further conflict in the Balkans:

  • In Kosovo, the U.S. and the EU continue to work closely together in the Contact Group, as we engage jointly with the UN-led international civilian presence in Kosovo, UNMIK, and with the NATO-led mission in Kosovo, KFOR. Our goal is to build a multiethnic Kosovo, where all inhabitants, regardless of ethnicity, can live in peace and security. This will only be possible if the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG) continue to implement the internationally endorsed standards for Kosovo. We are working together towards a comprehensive review of standards later this year. Based on the results of this review, we will then decide, together with our partners and on the basis of UN Security Council resolution 1244, whether to initiate a process to determine Kosovo’s future status.
  • In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the U.S. continues to strongly support the work of the High Representative. On the security side, new arrangements have been put in place, harnessing the energies of both NATO and the EU. On December 2, 2004, the NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) came to a successful conclusion. The people of Bosnia have welcomed a continued international security presence as they take the remaining steps on the path of reform. The EU has established a military mission, Operation Althea, to help with stability during this crucial period. This mission is a demonstration of the productive cooperation between NATO and the European Union under the Berlin Plus framework. At the same time, the U.S. and NATO will remain present in Bosnia through a new NATO Headquarters-Sarajevo that will be working in close cooperation with the EU.
  • In Macedonia, the U.S. and EU remain committed to helping the government to finalize implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement that ended the 2001 insurgency. We also worked closely together on security arrangements through an initial NATO security mission, followed by the first EU security mission under Berlin Plus, Operation Concordia, which ended in December 2003.

Providing justice for war crimes is a legal, political and moral imperative. The U.S. and the EU fully support the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The U.S. and the EU support all relevant resolutions by the Security Council on the Tribunal, including UN Security Council resolution 1534, citing in particular the importance of transferring Ratko Mladic, Radovan Karadzic and Ante Gotovina to face justice in The Hague. The U.S. and the EU call on all parties to meet their international obligations to fully cooperate with the Tribunal as a condition for their full integration into Euro-Atlantic structures.

The U.S. and the EU are also working closely together in different fora for regional cooperation. Examples for this are our joint engagement in the framework of the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe and in the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP). We also support cooperative endeavors of the countries themselves, including the "Adriatic Charter" of Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia.

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