Unfinished Balkans

The Western Balkans remains the missing piece of a strong, free Europe, write The Wall Street Journal commentators, and the US must work hard to help slot it into place.

The Western Balkans remains the missing piece of a strong, free Europe, write The Wall Street Journal commentators, and the US must work hard to help slot it into place. Jeanne Shaheen and George Voinovich remark that after two devastating world wars in Europe, the US and its allies made the commitment to rebuild the region stronger and better. But despite the passing of 60 years, the job is not yet finished. "Based on [US] meetings with leaders in the region last month, when we visited Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Serbia, we believe it is vital that the U.S. and Europe renew their commitment to this joint vision of a united Europe. It is only 15 years now since Bosnia was delivered from war, and only 10 years since NATO bombs stopped falling on Belgrade. In that short time, the region has taken momentous steps away from its troubled history. Most countries have now charted a realistic path for future membership in NATO and the EU. But while the U.S. and Europe are on the cusp of realizing their vision and reaping the benefits of their significant investments in this region, this is an extremely sensitive time in the Western Balkans. None of the backers of this project can let their attention drift or their commitment fade."

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