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Political Perspectives of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - Disintegration vs. Integration

erschienen in der Publikation "Zur Problematik der Stabilisierung des Westbalkans (5/00)" (ISBN: 3-901328-48-3) - Dezember 2000

Vollständiger Beitrag als PDF:  PDF ansehen PDF downloaden  13 Seiten (141 KB)
Schlagworte zu diesem Beitrag:  Jugoslawien, Sicherheitspolitik, Verteidigungspolitik, Außenpolitik, Integration, Europa, Stabilitätspakt


Yugoslavia is one of the highest-ranking international issues in European politics. It has been so for a decade now, and it seems that it still is not quite clear in which direction the developments in the country could go, or when the situation could improve. In 1991 there was the disintegration of the former (Socialist Federative Republic of) Yugoslavia; now, in the year 2000, there are many scholars and politicians who share the view that the present (Federal Republic of) Yugoslavia is facing the danger of further disintegration. Of course, it is primarily the internal developments that produce such perspectives and speculations; on the other hand, the international community can no doubt react to these prospects either by trying to prevent such tendencies, or to encourage them. The question is - which option is the one that should be given priority in political considerations; which one is more realistic at this moment; or, which one of them is more desirable within the present regional and broader circumstances?

The disintegration of the former (SFR) Yugoslavia in 1991 came as quite a surprising development in European relations. Among all those events that have marked the international scene during the nineties, the disintegration of this multinational country has been a very outstanding example of consequences provoked by turbulences in world affairs, but also of the inadequacies in the international system when it comes to coping with such crisis. The fall of the Berlin Wall in the Autumn of 1989 was a world-wide sensation, a symbolic milestone marking the end of the Cold War; the disintegration of the Warsaw Pact was a rather unexpected continuation of this process in which bipolarism was dismantled more rapidly than expected; the break-up of the Soviet Union was yet another event that seemed only to justify the Western feeling of a sweeping victory over an ideology that influenced so many peoples during the 20th century. However, the break-up of Yugoslavia was a different experience and a different example within the sequence of events that came in the aftermath of the Cold War - it did in no way corresponding with the general feelings of positive changes in the international environment, it produced huge negative consequences (humanitarian, political, legal, economic), and it paved the way for dilemmas in regard to crisis management in the future.

The disintegration of the country was certainly unexpected (in fact, for years Yugoslavia was mostly seen as an example of the possibility to have so many nations and religions within one state), generally speaking it was not encouraged, and initially it was not welcomed in Europe. When the international community engaged in various efforts to find solutions for the political crisis in Yugoslavia (like the EEC "Troika" visits), the primary aim was to prevent the disintegration of the country. The reasons were mostly of a more general nature (fear of a possible imbalance in regional and European political affairs) and much less were they related to internal Yugoslav circumstances. However, these attempts were not successful and the country broke apart, with quite a number of politicians saying that in the given circumstances the separation of the republics might be the key to the solution of the dispute. Once this happened, a number of historical, political and other reasons were put forward to explain why the Yugoslav federation actually was not a viable state, with the historical and internal political reasons being the main argumentation. On the other hand, two other socialist federations in Europe broke apart, the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia; the Yugoslav case just seemed to have followed something that might have been seen as a pattern. The basic difference - the fact that in the Yugoslav case disintegration was not accomplished by agreement - did not seem to change the conclusion; neither did the fact that in the Yugoslav case the international community was very much in favor of preserving the country’s integrity. Anyway, all these arguments came as post festum reasoning in regard to something that actually was a defeat of the efforts of the international community: to preserve the integrity of the Yugoslav state.

Eigentümer und Herausgeber: Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung | Roßauer Lände 1, 1090 Wien
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