The powder keg of Europe

Balkan nations have often been at the center of European history. A century after the spread of World War I, the Balkans are still a major geopolitical fault line for Europe, and the events of 1990s have raised questions about the future of this part of the continent.
The region is likely to live in peace for many years, but tensions are still glowing under the ashes. The Balkans needs a strategy to prevent the future wars. The European Union could be the horizon for most of the independent Balkan Republics that arose from the rubble of Yugoslavia. Croatia has recently joined the EU and Serbia will be the next in line. For Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina things are more difficult and the opportunity to join depends more on them than on the EU.
Kosovo, indeed, is only formally independent because the United Nations mission in Kosovo has still a basic role in the country. But the process for Bosnia and Herzegovina raises a series of issues to be addressed by the EU about its identity and ability to curb the eventual accession procedure.

Ultimately, the question is if the EU will be able to keep the Balkans at peace, whether it can implement the acquis communitaire in these countries or not. Thus far, given the years of peace fueled by a desire to join Europe, the Balkans are evidence of EU attractiveness, if not effectiveness.