(A Background and December 2002 Issue in Brief)

© Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS), Sofia

Research Study 44, 2002

Hard copy: ISSN 1311 - 3240


1. Security Threats: Terrorism
2. The Post-Conflict Issues in FYROM, Kosovo, and Bosnia and Herzegovina
1. Serbia and Montenegro
2. Bulgaria
3. Romania
4. Slovenia
1. Greece - Turkey
  2. Croatia - Serbia and Montenegro
1. Romania
2. Bulgaria
3. Russia - Bulgaria - Greece
1. EU
2. NATO - Albania, Croatia, FYROM
1. US
2. United Nations


In December four major political developments determined the regional situation in Southeast Europe: first, the continuing fight against terrorism and the tendencies that nourish it; second, the preparations for a possible war against Iraq; third, local regional (domestic and bilateral) processes that provide for or hinder the evolution of Southeast Europe; and fourth, EU and NATO enlargement and the regional accession efforts in this direction.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, traces of Al Qaeda continued to be monitored and the Stabilization Force (SFOR) took preventive measures towards a suspect linked to the terrorist network. Most of the counter-terrorist activities by Southeast European countries continued to be towards implementing the missions of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul and its surroundings. Bulgaria augmented its contingent in Afghanistan, Croatia prepared to send its own military police unit, and Turkey announced it would hand over the command of ISAF to Germany and the Netherlands in February 2003.

Preparations for a possible war on Iraq had their Southeast European projections: many Balkan states are already part of the coalition of countries eager to deny Baghdad the possibility of using harboured weapons of mass destruction. NATO is sure to play a role in a possible war, which means that Hungary, Greece and Turkey, as well as recent NATO invitees Romania and Bulgaria, will certainly play their specific parts. Turkey has a border with Iraq and will play a crucial function in the preparations for an effective war. In addition, NATO is very much expected to play a protective role over Turkey if war starts.

Post-conflict developments in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) showed contradicting features. On the one hand, the new government asked that the USA and NATO cut short their presence in support of the country's stability; on the other hand, bombings and provocations on an ethnic basis continued. The EU is likely to take care of the country's stability in the coming months as well assume greater responsibility for the areas of tension in the Western Balkans, gradually replacing NATO and the USA in their functions there. In Bosnia and Herzegovina the EU will also take over military peacekeeping from NATO. The situation in the post-conflict territories will continue to focus the attention of NATO and EU as the problems there can potentially be linked to extremist and separatist activities - often stimulated and much desired by terrorist organisations.

National developments confirmed earlier tendencies of continuing stagnation and the degradation of the political situation in Serbia and Montenegro where republican presidential elections failed (for the third time in Serbia and the first in Montenegro). The reformist processes in Bulgaria tested the stability of the present governing coalition which survived two non-confidence votes in parliament. In Slovenia, a new prime minister was approved by the parliament and the new president was sworn in on 23 December in a smooth transition of power. In Romania, the fight against corruption received a sound backing by the president.

Improved bilateral Greek-Turkish relations were demonstrated by the clear and open support of Ankara's candidature to the EU by Athens. Croatia and Serbia reached a very significant agreement on the Prevlaka peninsula that definitely improves the broader security situation.

In December two key regional economic projects received an impetus: the Danube Bridge 2 between Bulgaria and Romania and the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline between Bulgaria and Greece.

Lastly, the EU and NATO integration of Southeast Europe remained the dominant political development in December. The EU formally approved a December 2004 review date for Turkey's candidacy. Slovenia completed its negotiations and was invited to join the union in 2004. Bulgaria and Romania received a target date of 1 January 2007 for EU entry as well as new accession "road maps" and additional accession funds.

In a letter signed by the presidents of Croatia, FYROM, Albania, Serbia and Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Western Balkan countries reminded the EU Presidency that accession to the union remained a political priority for them all.

NATO has been approached by the so-called Ohrid-Adriatic group of countries, comprising Albania, Croatia and FYROM, in a cooperative bid to enter the Alliance's next enlargement round.

The United States continues to play an active role in building-up its bilateral relations with three Balkan countries. Washington largely relies on the support of its staunchest ally, Turkey, for a possible war on Iraq. Bilateral contacts between the US and Greece were very much directed towards solving the Cyprus issue which remains a major obstacle in Greek-Turkish and EU-Turkish relations. Washington's contacts with Sofia were very much directed towards helping Bulgaria complete its accession to NATO and its legal trade of dual-use goods.


1. Security Threats

a) Terrorism

1) SFOR-Bosnia and Herzegovina
At the start of December it was announced that Sabahudin Finljanin, the man arrested by SFOR on suspicion of spying on their troops, was also suspected of having links to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network. Bosnian and other passports in his name, as well as an anti-tank weapon, were found at his home. At the end of November Bosnian authorities banned three Islamic charities suspected of channelling funds to terrorists. SFOR provided Finljanin with a lawyer and arranged for representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit him.

2) ISAF-Bulgaria
On 3 December, Bulgaria increased its participation in the international peacekeeping force in Afghanistan by sending a small number of security troops there. In February, Sofia sent 32 troops to Kabul to take part in the UN-mandated ISAF. Experts from different security institutions and non-governmental organizations have advised the General Staff to send additional troops to augment security and order at Kabul Airport and the surrounding areas. Another proposal suggested setting-up an engineer unit in case ISAF command asks for an additional contingent. Such a request is expected in the coming months. Sofia received an entry invitation to NATO on 21 November during the Alliance's summit meeting. On 13 December Bulgaria's parliament confirmed a government proposal to prolong the participation of the national unit in the activities of ISAF. The Bulgarian contingent currently consists of 40 servicemen with their personal weapons and ammunition, equipment, a sanitary processing module, and equipment for logistic and communication support. The cabinet's proposal followed the UNSC Resolution to extend ISAF's mandate by 12 months. The government has to provide the additional funding needed for the country's ISAF contingent in 2003.

3) ISAF-Croatia
On 12 December the Croatian parliament voted to send 44 military policemen to enforce peace in Afghanistan in 2003. This is Croatia's first international mission with potential combat elements. The policemen will be part of ISAF and will operate in Kabul and its surroundings. The Croats' mission will last six months, starting from the beginning of 2003, but may be extended for a further six months. Croatia is a Partnership for Peace (PfP) participant and a candidate for NATO membership.

4) ISAF-Turkey
Turkey announced on 20 December that it will hand over command of ISAF to Germany and the Netherlands in February 2003. Turkey presently leads the 19-nation 5,000- strong peacekeeping force that patrols Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, since the autumn of 2001. Turkey's mandate expired at the end of December 2002, but Germany and the Netherlands declared they needed more time to prepare to take over the force. German and Dutch troops already work together in a joint battalion patrolling Kabul and share an army corps headquarters in Münster, Germany. Turkey took command of the force in June from Great Britain and has 1,400 soldiers - the largest ISAF contingent. While Turkey will decrease its force, Germany and the Netherlands will increase theirs. Turkey's participation in ISAF proves that counter-terrorism is not an anti-Muslim initiative while her lead over ISAF during the last few months demonstrates that the country is a regional power.

b) The Threat of Iraq's Possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Casualties
A coalition of partners is currently being formed for a possible war on Iraq under US leadership. In the event of war, NATO is certain to play a role in protecting Turkey from the threat of an Iraqi counter-strike; using its planning facilities to coordinate efforts such as air or sea transport for troops and equipment, air-to-air refuelling, or air cover to ground troops; using AWACS surveillance planes, minesweepers or naval patrol ships; and providing troops to enforce the peace and help rebuild Iraq should the present regime be removed.

The current approach to coalition building for a possible war on Iraq differs from the one against the Taliban in Afghanistan during 2001: it is slower and more and gradual with the US involving its NATO allies more closely in the planning process. NATO is in the process of re-focusing its military might towards threats from terrorists and the so-called 'rogue states'. Strong support for this coalition has come from the three Southeast European NATO members, Hungary, Greece and Turkey, as well as newer NATO members Romania and Bulgaria. Harbouring weapons of mass destruction and mass casualties, an activity banned by international law, is the principal accusation targeted against Iraq. There are genuine fears Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has stockpiled chemical and biological weapons and developed nuclear arms.

Turkey has allowed the US to use its bases and airspace - a significant step in support of war preparations on its borders with Iraq. America expects and is working towards a full Turkish commitment to an eventual war on Iraq. On 4 December the White House invited Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of the largest party in Turkey's new governing coalition (and one with Islamic roots), to Washington. He visited on 10 December and met with President George Bush. Turkey as well as the Persian Gulf states, are needed by the US for a possible strike on Iraq. However, these countries would prefer to provide support as part of a broad, international and UN-mandated coalition. As a result, the US and its closest allies are trying to gain international support through the UN and elsewhere for a war on Iraq.

Any NATO involvement in the protection of Turkey will be helped hugely by the readiness of Romania and Bulgaria to provide support to the US and NATO in an anti-Iraq contingency. Their airspace, airfields, and Black Sea ports could be important in removing the Iraqi dictator from power.

2. ThePost-Conflict Issues in FYROM, Kosovo, and Bosnia-Herzegovina

(1) A Macedonian court cancelled an order for the arrest of Ali Ahmeti, a former National Liberation Army (NLA) leader and present chief of the most influential Albanian party and coalition partner in the government. Ahmeti was formerly charged with war crimes and for the murder of eight Macedonian soldiers. (2) Ilinka Mitreva, FYROM's Foreign Minister, visited Washington on December 11 and asked the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, that the current NATO mission to her country be the last one so that Macedonia finally start taking care of its own stability. However, the bombings in Kumanovo and Tetovo at the end of December illustrate how premature this demand is and what consequences it may have in an ethnically intolerant society. Indispensable conditions to this Macedonian request are the complete implementation of the Framework Agreement and respect for the rule of law throughout the country. Mitreva asked for US support in signing an arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Skopje promised it will solve in, a transparent way, the demarcation of the country's borders and will help with border crossings for local populations. The US promised to support Macedonian preparations for NATO accession. (3) The EU will probably deploy its own troops in the Balkans from February 2003. These will possibly be stationed in FYROM. This announcement followed a landmark agreement between NATO and the EU on 14 December. Following German and French pressure in Copenhagen, Turkey unblocked the Berlin Plus accord that would allow European access to NATO's planning and military assets for missions independent of the US-led Alliance. Berlin Plus was designed to prevent Europeans from duplicating NATO resources that could eventually be used to create a EU security and defence arm. While in Copenhagen, France suggested that the EU should go into FYROM without Berlin Plus since the Europeans could easily take over the small 900-strong force from NATO. On 7 December, NATO launched a new security mission, "Operation Allied Harmony", to help with military reforms. The operation involves 450 soldiers and will be reviewed in February 2003 to decide if the EU is ready to take over. (4) On 17 December, Germany donated 150 "Iltis" military vehicles to the Macedonian army during a ceremony at the Gotse Delchev military barracks in Skopje. A Macedonian platoon of ten is expected to join the German contingent to ISAF in Afghanistan.

b) Kosovo
On 26 November US President George Bush sent a Congressionally mandated report to Congress on the progress made toward "militarily significant benchmarks" for achieving a sustainable peace in Kosovo. The President's letter says that the administration anticipates KFOR and US participation in it will gradually be reduced in size as public security conditions improve and Kosovars assume increasing responsibility for their own self-government.

c) Bosnia and Herzegovina
The EU will take over a military peacekeeping mission in Bosnia from NATO. This was offered by a Union summit statement in Copenhagen on 13 December. The EU is gradually taking responsibility for the Balkans, freeing up US forces for other global missions, notably in the war against terrorism. Initial consultations for the take-over will be held by February 2003. SFOR has responsibility for helping the implementation of the US-brokered peace accords that ended the war in Bosnia (1992-95). NATO's presence in the force has been reduced from 19,000 to 12,000. The EU will take over a police task force in Bosnia from the UN at the start of 2003 and will help to train and reform local police forces.


1. Serbia and Montenegro
(1) On 8 December Serbia failed in its third attempt this year to elect a president. Once again, the reason was low voter turnout. Less than the legal minimum of 50 per cent of the registered voters took part in the election. Political wrangling prevents reformers from pressing ahead with their plans and the nation from focusing on economic and institutional changes. The present Serbian president, Milan Milutinovic, whose term expires in January 2003, will most likely join Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague. The International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has indicted them both for atrocities against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. The present President of Serbia and Montenegro, Vojislav Kostunica is in contest with radical nationalist Vojislav Seselj and former paramilitary commander and kick-boxing expert, Borislav Pelevic. (2) On 22 December, Montenegrins failed to elect a president for their country due to low voter turnout. Milo Djukanovic has been elected Prime Minister of the country and has freed the position of president.

2. Bulgaria
(1) On 29 November the Bulgarian government survived two parliamentary no-confidence votes called for by opposition parties after the cabinet bowed to EU pressure to shut down four nuclear reactors. The closure of two of these has been highly contested by the opposition, scientific experts and the public. More than 500,000 signatures have been collected in support of preserving the two nuclear power plant reactors in Kozloduy. When voting on the issue, 134 government and 132 opposition MPs voted against closing the plants while 100 government and 98 opposition MPs supported the vote. Cabinet Ministers argued during the deliberations that a refusal to comply with Brussels' demands would have hurt Bulgaria's chances of joining the EU in 2007. IAEA experts have confirmed that the two nuclear reactors in Kozloduy are absolutely secure after a decade of safety improvements. The Bulgarian government decided on Christmas Eve to resume building the Belene nuclear plant. It is negotiating with Canadian, US and Russian investors to secure the US$2 billion needed to finish the job. (2) On 29 November, Bulgaria's Foreign Minister, Solomon Passy, said his country wants to take part in rebuilding Iraq after a possible US-led war to topple Saddam Hussein. This would return some of the much-needed US$1.7 billion in debt owed by Iraq to Sofia. Debt repayment will only be possible if a democratic government returns to power in Baghdad. Bulgaria is prepared to take part in the reconstruction and democratisation of Iraq. Sofia is among the 50 capitals that Washington has consulted on what they can contribute to a US-led war on Iraq. Iraq's debt to Bulgaria is 30 per cent greater than the pre-accession aid the EU will provide in 2004-2006.

3. Slovenia
On 19 December, the Slovenian parliament approved the new centre-left government of Prime Minister Anton Rop after Janez Drnovsek stepped down as head of government to become the President. Drnovsek was sworn in on 23 December when the five-year term of President Milan Kucan expired and after winning the presidential elections on 1 December. Regular parliamentary elections will be held in 2004.

4. Romania
Romanian President Ion Illiescu urged his country's authorities to wage an all-out war against corruption on 19 December. Failure to eradicate endemic graft could endanger Romania's drive to join the EU in 2007. Public institutions should restore society's confidence by fighting crime especially. If corruption is not fought, Romania may not join NATO and the EU and will be marginalized, said Illiescu. According to Transparency International, Romania is ranked bottom among EU candidates in terms of the perception of corruption endemic there. Investors complain they have been deterred from coming to Romania by high-ranking officials' extorting bribes. The ruling Social Democratic Party has been the subject of special accusations of graft. It pledged earlier in December that it would continue with legislation and other measures to attack corruption and prevent money laundering. The government needs to achieve greater transparency of property declarations by its own members and those of parliament.


1. Greece-Turkey
Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou said at the end of November that the new Turkish government, which has Islamic roots, can be a role model for other Muslim countries. The EU should encourage the reformist trend in the new government by offering the prospect of membership and setting a date for accession talks at the Copenhagen summit of EU members on 12-14 December. Greece assumes the EU Presidency from 1 January 2003. Papandreou's announcement on Turkey's government acting as a 'role model' was made during his visit to the US.

2. Croatia-Serbia and Montenegro
Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro signed a landmark border deal on a disputed Adriatic peninsula on 10 December in Zagreb. This deal will pave the way for a rapid resolution to a 10-year old UN peacekeeping mission at the Prevlaka peninsula, situated on Croatia's southernmost border with Montenegro. The small stretch of land is of strategic importance, because it controls access to the fiord-like Boka Kotorska bay, Montenegro's major deep-sea port. Under the deal, the two countries will keep the area demilitarised. They will also have joint police patrols although the peninsula will be part of Croatian territory. Navy ships belonging to Serbia and Montenegro will be allowed to pass through the channel leading into the bay, but they will not be allowed to stop or conduct military exercises or any other activity in the area. This bilateral agreement definitely contributes to regional stability. Yugoslavia under Milosevic wanted this area to remain part of the federation, because of its strategic importance while Croatia has always considered it part of its territory. The agreement includes a temporary arrangement on police and customs jurisdiction, de-mining and new rules governing border crossings. Prevlaka has gone from being a point of conflict to a point of cooperation, said Croatia's Foreign Minister Tonino Picula. A detailed agreement, including a final land and sea border will be negotiated at a later stage. The UN ended its tiny mission on the peninsula on 15 December.


1. Romania
On 27 November, the Romanian government adopted an ordinance that sets the principles, framework and procedures of unfolding compensation operations (offset) for military hardware acquisitions with a view to promoting Romania's economic interests and to even the trade balance. To that end, an Offset Agency will be established as an autonomous public institution and legal entity, reporting to the Ministry of Industry and Resources.

2. Bulgaria
(1) At the end of November a contract with an international consultant on the engineering and management of the Danube Bridge 2 project at Vidin-Calafat was signed at the Ministry of Transport in Sofia. The consortium under contract is a tie-in between the British firm Scott Wilson Holdings, Flint & Neill partnership and the Spanish Ibernisa S. A. The contract was signed by the Head of the EC in Sofia and by a Ministry of Transport high official. Construction will begin in the first half of 2004 and will be finished by the end of 2006. The bridge is to form one of the EU's transport corridors, starting from Germany and forking towards Thessaloniki (Greece) and Istanbul (Turkey). (2) On 17 December the World Bank approved a US$50 million loan to Bulgaria designed to improve job opportunities and living standards in the country's poorest areas. The Bulgarian government will contribute an additional US$16.74 million.

3. Russia-Bulgaria-Greece
On 3 December in Athens, Bulgaria and Greece signed a memorandum for the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline. The three participants in the project will have an equal share of the profits.


1. EU

a) EU-Turkey
(1) On 13 December the EU formally approved a December 2004 review date for Turkey's candidacy. This decision is "not negotiable" from the EU's perspective. If Turkey passes the review, entry negotiations are likely to begin soon afterwards. The EU acknowledged the strong determination of the Turkish government to meet the EU's political criteria by December 2004 and membership talks with Ankara will start as soon as possible. Party leader Recep Erdogan said after having "friendly talks" with the French President Chirac and German Chancellor Schröder that Ankara pursues reforms not only to join the EU, but also for its own national interests. Turkey is the largest of all 13 EU candidates with a population of 70 million. Just three per cent of the territory of the country is in Europe. (2) On 18 December the EU's Enlargement Commissioner, Günter Ferheugen, told Turkey it must stop completely the practice of torture before it can hope to begin negotiations on joining the EU. An agreement on the Cyprus issue, curbing the influence of the powerful Turkish military, and tackling the Kurdish language problem are all topics the EU monitors and insists Turkey find agreeable solutions to.

b) EU-Slovenia
On 13 December the EU decided to bring Slovenia into the union by 2004, together with nine other EU-candidate countries.

c) EU-Bulgaria, Romania
At the EU's Copenhagen summit Bulgaria and Romania received a target date of 1 January 2007 for joining the union as well as new "road maps" and additional funds to accelerate the accession process.

d) EU-Serbia and Montenegro, Croatia, Albania, FYROM, Bosnia and Herzegovina
(1) On 9 December the presidents of the five Balkan states came together with an appeal to an expanding EU not to forget their aspirations to join the prosperous Western bloc. They expressed their expectation that the final document of the Copenhagen summit will contain a reference to their countries' prospects for membership as a strong impetus to continuing on the path to EU integration. After a decade of conflict, the leaders of the five Balkan countries said they are committed to working individually and in mutual cooperation in order to develop good-neighbourly relations, strengthen democratic values and intensify economic reforms. The letter was signed by President Alfred Moisiu of Albania, President Mirko Sarovic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, President Stjepan Mesic of Croatia, President Boris Traikovsky of FYROM and President Vojislav Kostunica of Serbia and Montenegro. The five leaders pledged to intensify cooperation in the fight against terrorism and organised crime, and to meet their obligations to the UN. (2) In its decision of 13 December, the EU said it remained determined to avoid new dividing lines in Europe and to promote stability and prosperity within and beyond the union's new borders. It also reaffirmed the European perspective of the countries of the Western Balkans in the Stabilisation and Association Process as stipulated by the EU Council in Feira. (3) The upcoming Greek presidency has decided to organise a summit between EU member states and countries of the Stabilisation and Association process (the countries of the Western Balkans) in Thessaloniki on 21 June 2003. Greece has selected as priorities for its

2. NATO -Albania, Croatia, FYROM
At the end of November, the three countries decided to form the so-called Ohrid-Adriatic group and to cooperate in speeding up integration into NATO. During a visit to Tirana in the last days of November, NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson said the pact between the three Balkan countries was a good start for them and also sent a message to the West. The pact, also known as the "Tirana Initiative", will come into force in January 2003. The presidents of the three countries first communicated their desire to cooperate towards NATO membership to US President George Bush in Prague during the NATO summit of 21-22 November. The three countries will undertake common initiatives and military training and will make a common representation in future meetings with the US, NATO and the EU. Lord Robertson said NATO's door remains open. According to the Secretary General of NATO, the biggest challenges faced by the three Balkan states are border security and cracking down on crime. During the last ten years, the Western Balkan countries have been involved in ethnic conflicts and political chaos, which have built up barriers to legal free trade, while allowing crime to flourish.


1. US

a) USA-Turkey
(1) On 3-4 December, US Deputy Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz visited Turkey. Ankara gave strong affirmations of support towards US policy on Iraq. Wolfowitz underlined the important role of Turkey in dealing with Iraq. (2) During the visit of Recep Erdogan to the US on 10 December, he told President Bush that the Turkish Government wants strong ties with the US and is ready to support a military strike against Iraq. Turkey, Erdogan argued, will insist on the territorial integrity of Iraq while Washington should take into account the economic effects a second Gulf war might have on Turkey. Turkey has clearly formulated the price for its aid against Iraq - US support for EU integration of Turkey and direct economic compensation. The US and Turkey are negotiating the reduction of US$5 billion in military debt to the United States, assurances on an existing US$16 billion recovery loan from the IMF and limited trade preferences to boost Turkish exports. (3) On 11 December, Turkish sources announced that thousands of military and paramilitary forces were deployed around the Iraqi border on 7-8 December. Infantry and support units comprised theses forces. Communications and logistics were also transported to the Iraqi border. Turkey already has more than 10,000 troops along this border. Many of the troops were deployed in northern Iraq and operate in coordination with the United States.

b) USA-Greece
On 4 December US Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman met Greek Defence Minister Yiannos Papantoniou in Athens. Grossman reiterated the message he had already delivered in London, Ankara and Nicosia that there is an opportunity in the next few weeks to move towards a peaceful settlement in Cyprus and to bring Turkey one step closer to EU membership.

c) USA-Bulgaria
On 9-10 December, the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Elizabeth Jones, visited Sofia and met with President Georgi Parvanov, Prime Minister Simeon Saxkoburggotsky and Foreign Minister Solomon Passy. The two sides discussed the forthcoming ratification of Bulgaria's membership agreement with NATO, the situation in Iraq and bilateral relations. Elizabeth Jones is the most senior State Department representative to have visited Bulgaria in the last three years.

2. United Nations. UN-Bulgaria
On 11 December Bulgarian authorities reported they had arrested the former head of a state-owned weapons repair plant on suspicion of his involvement in the illegal export of military hardware to Syria. Valentin Tonchev (47) was the third defence industry official to be arrested since last month when security services intercepted on the border with Turkey a shipment of transmission parts for Soviet-made combat vehicles bound for Syria. The UN has banned the export of dual-use hardware to Syria. Investigations till now show that these exports had not received government clearance.

Southeast European states continued their varied participation in the fight against terrorism. War preparations in Iraq have significantly influenced the general security situation of the Balkans. The EU specifically included Southeast Europe in its latest round of enlargement: Slovenia will join the Union in 2004, Bulgaria and Romania were given 2007 as an entry date, while Turkey hopes to improve its "candidacy" status in December 2004 and eventually start negotiations for accession. The remaining five countries from the Western Balkans are committed to joining the EU integration process. NATO will also operate specific policies towards those candidates that did not receive an invitation to join the Alliance in Prague last month. Domestic developments in the individual Balkan countries are either influenced by the EU and NATO enlargement processes or exert influence that will place them on the "integration wave".



Dr. Plamen Pantev, Editor–in–Chief

ISSN 1311 – 3240

Dr. Tatiana Houbenova-Delissivkova

Address: ISIS, 1618 Sofia,

Mr. Valeri Rachev, M. A.

P. O. Box 231, Bulgaria

Mr. Ivan Tsvetkov, M. A.

Phone/Fax: ++(359 - 2-) 551 828

Dr. Todor Tagarev

E-Mail Address:

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