The Nobel Peace Prize and the EU in the Balkans
7:31 AM, Oct 17, 2012 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Kosovo, likewise, has little to show for the extensive operation of EU agencies as authorities over the republic’s citizens. The zone above Mitrovica in its northern territory is, de facto, partitioned and occupied by illegal Serbian “parallel structures,” including irregular militias, and police and political officials who commute into Kosovo from Serbia proper. The CIA World Factbook counts Kosovo unemployment at 45 percent in 2011. Again, residents claim joblessness is higher. But the CIA volume at least reports budgeting for schools in Kosovo, as 4.3 percent of gross domestic product.
The foreign apparatus ruling Kosovo includes the EU Rule of Law Mission for Kosovo (EULEX), which directs the judicial structure, and the EU Office in Kosovo/European Special Representative in Kosovo. The latter is headed by Samuel Zbogar, a Slovenian diplomat. EU profligacy with money in financing its own bureaucratic activities in Kosovo, rather than the Kosovar enterprises it was supposed to rehabilitate, is notorious, and encourages Kosovo officials to similar habits. Kosovo government overindulgence was described this way on October 5 by the nationalist movement Vetevendosje! (Self-Determination), which is widely popular and represented in the Kosovo parliament: “On September 30, activists of VETEVENDOSJE! organized a symbolic action to highlight the expense of the visit by a large Kosovo Government delegation to New York, to follow the UN General Assembly meeting. The visit was estimated to have cost 200,000 Euros of public funds.”
Notwithstanding the Nobel Prize granted the EU for, among other accomplishments, its alleged good works in the Balkans, neither Bosnia-Herzegovina nor Kosovo has been helped in significant reconstruction. Corruption is ubiquitous, discontent is spreading, and fundamentalist agitators have penetrated the Muslim community leadership in both places. Bosnia-Herzegovina is between 40 and 50 percent Muslim, while Kosovo is 90 percent Muslim. These lands deserve more attention and care.
But given the disaster of EU “humanitarianism” in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, it is understandable that they would not be mentioned in the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s encomium. It is disgraceful, and illustrates the capacity of the committee for self-deception.