Kosovo como catalizador de la UE

La declaración de independencia de Kosovo ha vuelto a poner sobre la mesa de Europa el tema de la estabilidad en los Balcanes occidentales. A menos que la Unión Europea actúe con rapidez, la región entera podría experimentar un retroceso, con graves consecuencias sociales, económicas y de seguridad. La UE necesita un enfoque regional integral que se centre en los pasos restantes que puedan hacer que cada país llegue a convertirse en miembro.

Los Balcanes occidentales –término usado solamente desde 1999- es la región comprendida por Albania, Bosnia y Herzegovina, Croacia, Macedonia (FYROM), Montenegro, Serbia y Kosovo, con una población total de cerca de 22 millones. Los avances económicos en la región son prometedores, ya que casi cada uno de estos países está experimentando un alto crecimiento impulsado por la creciente producción industrial y las exportaciones. La inversión interna está aumentando de manera sostenida, pues las empresas parecen creer que los desafíos restantes en materia política y de seguridad –los posibles efectos negativos tras la independencia de Kosovo y los problemas en Bosnia- se podrán superar más temprano que tarde.

Ya se ha avanzado mucho para restablecer y mejorar las relaciones regionales. El Pacto de Estabilidad impulsado por la UE para el Sudeste europeo desde 1999 ha estimulado con éxito la cooperación internacional dentro de la región, por primera vez desde la desaparición de Yugoslavia. Han resultado beneficiados ámbitos como la energía, la infraestructura del transporte –caminos, vías férreas y vías fluviales- y la prevención del crimen. El Pacto de Estabilidad ahora se ha transferido al control local, resurgiendo como el Consejo de Cooperación Regional basado en Sarajevo, listo para desarrollar estándares regionales y multilaterales para sus miembros.

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