EU Strategic Compass warns of frail stability of Western Balkans

NEWS 21.03.2022 23:40
Source: Freeimages

European Union Foreign and Defense Ministers approved the Strategic Compass, a document which the Union’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said is an ambitious plan for action for a stronger EU security and defense for the next decade.

According to Borrell, Europe must learn to speak the language of power. “Over the next decade, we will make a quantum leap to become a more assertive and decisive security provider, better prepared to tackle present and future threats and challenges,“ he said of the document which provides for a rapid deployment force, enhanced military mobility and a cyber defense policy among other things.

The Strategic Compass warned that “Security and stability throughout the Western Balkans is still not a given, also due to increasing foreign interference, including information manipulation campaigns, as well as through potential spill over from the current deterioration of the European security situation. “In this regard, it is of particular interest to support the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, based on the principles of equality and non-discrimination of all citizens and
constituent peoples as enshrined in the Bosnia and Herzegovina constitution, as well as the reform process on its European path and to take forward the EU-led Pristina-Belgrade dialogue”, it said and added that tangible progress on the rule of law and reforms based on European values, rules and standards needs to continue and the European perspective is a strategic choice, essential for all partners aspiring to EU membership

“We remain committed to improving the resilience of societies and democratic processes, political institutions and critical infrastructure in the Western Balkans, as well as boosting cybersecurity, countering disinformation and supporting counter-terrorism efforts in the region. To help build civilian and military capacity and resilience in the region, working closely together with the UN, NATO and the OSCE is of the utmost importance. We welcome the regular contributions our partners in the Western Balkans have made to our CSDP missions and operations,” it said.

The EU Strategic Compass pledges to strengthen dialogues on security and defense with partners in the Western Balkans … in particular strengthening security and defence cooperation with the Eastern partners with a view to strengthening their resilience, including against hybrid attacks and cyber threats, and boost tailored support and capacity building in the area of security and defense as well as supporting efforts to strengthen the resilience of partners in the Western Balkans.

It said that crisis management efforts will include intensified capacity building, training and equipping EU partners in the Western Balkans to strengthen their resilience against hybrid threats and developing tailored partnerships with them.