The paper analyzes the European Community/ European Union experience in the Western Balkans in the period from 1990 onwards in different context in order to assess different mechanisms which the European Union has gained with building the Common Foreign and Security Policy and within the Enlargement Policy in the process of conflict prevention and conflict resolution. Additionally, the paper makes an assessment of the EU’s involvement in the conflict prevention and conflict resolution in the Balkans after the Stabilization and Association Process was launched in 1999. The authors argue that in the case of the military conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, when the European Community was confronted with serious and hard security issues at the very beginning of creating its Common Foreign and Security Policy and in a period of time when the region was not part of the enlargement process, the Community and the Union afterwards proved to be extremely ineffective. In the second part, through three case studies, the paper demonstrate that with the combined use of CFSP mechanisms and SAP, positive examples of the EU acting as a provider of peaceful dispute settlement in the Western Balkans have been established.
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