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(E) CROATIA'S IMPARTIALITY - "Croatia-neutral State?"
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  01/22/2003 | Politics | Unrated
(E) CROATIA'S IMPARTIALITY - "Croatia-neutral State?"
Distributed by CroatianWorld

 

Croatia-neutralState?

Ph. D. Andelko Milardovci
Political Science Research Center, Zagreb

www.cpi.hr      

CROATIA BETWEEN EUROPEAN INTEGRATION, WESTERN BALKAN AND IMPARTIALITY

1. EU INTEGRATION

Since international acknowledgement in 1992 until today, the Croatian foreign policy the object are European integrations. That object has been emphasized and is emphasized by former Government and by new coalition government. Despite that, until recently the Government didn’t manage to achieve inter -party agreement on European integration Strategy, and it was accomplished at the end of 2002 by acclamation of Declaration in Croatian Parliament. Impartially from what may be the best results in Stabilization and association process, comparing with other countries, Croatia didn’t find itself among ten new candidate countries in EU Eastern enlargement process. At Copenhagen Summit Croatia was not traded as a country which could be in enlargement process with Bulgaria and Romania in 2007. 
That prompted Croatian political elite on diplomatic action and acclamation of Declaration and undergoing of application for full membership by March 2003.
The application has domestic and foreign political reasons.
Domestic political reasons are related to forthcoming elections. In a case of acceptance, Government of the Prime-ministerRacan would achieve a great success in foreign policy which could probably have impact on forthcoming elections. But, in a case 
Of subtraction this Government will have to bear consequences and the question of alternative strategy for the future will be opened.
The good side of the application is that it will show a real position of Brussels who will have to give its final answer, either positive or negative. 
Positive answer based on intern consensus, would ask for development of integration strategy with precise dynamic, distribution of tasks, distribution actor roles, budget and cost of integration, benefits of integration for Croatia, losses and obligation by referendum.
In a case of negative answer the government will have to develop the scenario to avoid contra-productive effects of ten to fifteen years by the time Croatia become full EU member.
That time should be used on developing an Alternative or our own concept of impartiality. That concept will be discussed among leading Croatian intellectuals on Seminar "Croatia-neutral State?" which will be held on 23rd January 2003 in Bezanec Castle in HrvatskoZagorje.

2. GEOPOLITICAL SITUATION, IDENTITY AND POLITICAL REALISM

Positive and negative Scenario of Croatian future and her position in the globalized world has to be determinate by her geopolitical situation, which is constant in domestic and foreign politics. It is a permanent fact which has to be taken as dependent in programming and implementation of future scenario.
According to that, it is possible to identify Croatia as a country between Central Europe, Mediterranean and Balkan. Three components identify her geopolitical and cultural identity: Central European, Mediterranean and Balkan component, of which geographically
Balkan has a smallest impact.
Until January 3rd 2000 the emphasis was on first two components but after arrival of coalition Government the priority was given to a Balkan component. Objections to an old Government were that it favored European integration, Central European and Mediterranean identity but it acted totally Balkanian. New Government, on the other side to has emphasized cooperation with Balkans as an integrated part of Stabilization and accession process and the Mediterranean and Central European geopolitical and cultural component where put in a second plan and a priority was given to cooperation with Western Balkan countries (In economy, culture, sport and etc).

In the political language by officials in Brussels Croatia is treated as a part of Western Balkan region. Since 1997 until 2000 in "European herald" magazine Croatia is mentioned as an integrated part Western Balkan region, Yugoslavia minus Slovenia plus Albania. In this region exist interweave between Western (EU and U. S. A.), Russian and Islamic interest. EU foreign politics treats this region as one. The object of Stabilization and association Agreement is implementation of stabilization in the region and association, if it ever became possible. The EU politics does not take into account the results of each individual country. It is occupied with the collective approach. Individual accession model, as it seems, will not be easily accepted. The reasons why Croatia didn’t entered in first enlargement group in Copenhagen are strictly political. The Western Balkans is treated as Europe’s "black hole", the region without established rule of law and with great problems with corruption, organized crime, illegal migrations and trafficking of human beings. It is treated in this way and actually isolated so that it doesn’t undermine EU construction, and in attempt to prevent eventual effects of the "black hole" on her system EU is building a stronger politics towards Balkan countries and barbarians who could undermine the EU principals.
Finally, in all Scenarios of EU Future, either official or of think tanks, Croatia is seen as Western Balkan country. These are some of the examples, Western Balkan and a new European responsibility. Strategic paper presented at special meeting "Club of three and Western Balkans" (Brussels 29 - 30, June 2000); CARDS assistance Program to the Western Balkans – regional strategy paper 2002 – 2006 (European Commission. Forward studies unit. Horizontal issues). Western Balkan in 2004. Assistance, cohesion and new European borders. The paper by independent institute ESI – Berlin was presented to Javier Solana on November 5th 2002 in Brussels. Taken into account, Scenario confirm thesis of political reasons of Croatian exclusion from Copenhagen enlargement process and a collective, instead of individual approach to accession, if ever becomes plausible. 

ESI Scenario anticipate crisis in Western Balkans 2004 caused by reduction of assistance. In a part of Scenario " European Union and the crisis 2004" the Western Balkan countries are hardly taken into account in a view of future EU enlargement, and the evidence of that approach was shown in Copenhagen treatment of the Balkans. It is stressed that: 
»From 2004 to 2006, most countries in the region will receive relatively little EU aid, whatever political or institutional reforms they undertake and irrespective of their progress up the Stabilization and Association ladder. Unless something changes, there will also be little argument for taking the needs of the region seriously in the next programming cycle (2007-13). The Balkans will continue to depend on the development and humanitarian aid budget, and will find itself competing with the countries of the Southern Mediterranean and the Middle East and with new crisis areas as they emerge around the globe.
Without a serious commitment from the European Union, the Western Balkans will find itself increasingly isolated from the developments unfolding all around it, from Slovenia, through Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, and south to Greece. Its capacity to join the European project will only decrease over time. While in the enlarged Europe, the new goals will be economic cohesion, development and labour mobility, in the Balkans the focus will narrow to issues of crime, corruption and border management. If this is Europe's only response to the crisis of 2004, then the most probable future of the Balkans is to remain an island of instability in the heart of Europe, exporting migrants and importing peacekeepers. (ESI, November 2002, p. 20). »
EU foreign politics has common standards of "Europeanization" of new potential candidate countries and developed regional politics. One of these regional politics is toward Western Balkans. But, either Croatia hasn’t developed clear strategy whose objectives are European integrations neither it comply prerequisite for full membership, partly because it’s own fault and partly because of existing scenarios of EU future. 
The question here is: What can we do in a case they don’t accept our application for full membership and we subtract scenarios which tend to relate Croatia and her own future with a future of Western Balkan? Therefore, alternative scenario must be developed including acclamation of permanent impartiality on Constitutional basics. 

3. IMPARTIALITY

If the application for full membership is going to be subtracted, and if the Government is rejecting a concept which tends to relate Croatia with Western Balkan scenario, an alternative strategy of extrication from the Balkans must be developed. This strategy should necessary include acclamation of impartiality as a concept of self- reinforcing, building institutions based on rule of law, implementation of common European standards and best practice, anti-participation in war conflicts, abstention from NATO membership, and reinforcement of Constitutional statute which forbids any association with former Yugoslavian countries, and promotion of peace by Republic of Croatia. 
In a political history term impartiality had deferent meanings, but always resulting from constellation of power and relations. Since establishment of international relations between the states in 1648 it was interpreted as abstention from conflicts and taking parts in violations, respect of sovereignty and independent foreign politics for example, freedom of choice in leading its own foreign politics. 
The system of impartiality is changing through the centuries, especially after a fall of Berlin wall. With globalization of politics the old concept of impartiality has changed, and gradually is defined in new context of power and relations. 
The right on impartiality, in terms of globalized politics, has to be maintained, as a choice of a freedom. For example: Croatia has never been forced to join EU and NATO, but EU scenario relates it to Western Balkan. Impartiality, hence, means a freedom of choice which defines our own future. Any declared impartiality should be acknowledged by international community, and in that case Croatia should "experience" second international acknowledgment if declare neutrality.
As I said, through the history impartiality was result of constellation of power and relations. Examples are: Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Finland and Ireland. Switzerland is an example of permanent, Constitutional based impartiality. Austria is an example of impartiality created as a result or consequence of 2nd World war. Since 1955 until 1994 Austria experienced total impartiality. That time was used on institutional building and self-reinforcing, and at the end Austria joined EU. Austria is not a NATO member, but is candidate country and is pleading for redefining of impartiality under new conditions. Sweden, Finland and Ireland are all EU members but not NATO members. Therefore, in globalized world there are still some neutral states, and some countries are neither members of EU or NATO. Perfect example is Switzerland.
According to that, if Croatia currently can not become full EU member, and there is no need to enter NATO, as senseless organization, it should declare neutrality related to future conflicts and permanent impartiality. 
"Permanent neutrality is clearly different from neutrality by the fact that permanent neutrality is characteristic of the state as a subject of international law, as defined by Constitution and international Agreement, and opposite, term neutrality is related to war." (Source: Vladimir Ibler, International civil law dictionary, Zagreb, Informator, 1987, p. 319). Raymond Aaron has also written about different types of impartiality in book "Peace and war among the nations" (Zagreb, Golden marketing, 2001, p. 548.)
The idea of freedom of choice and peace are in foundation of impartiality. So if Croatia is going to declare impartiality it won’t be in any relation with isolationism. Impartiality is based on the assumption of freedom of choice to integrate, according to national interests, in those global institutions in which, for example, Switzerland is a member, but is not a member of European Union and NATO. Finally, impartiality exclude isolationism. Croatian concept of impartiality in globalized world, should therefore, be the concept of institutional self reinforcing, comparative with EU standards, based on rule of law so that Croatia in time became a desirable EU partner.
Since the end of bipolar structure of the world and fall of Berlin wall NATO has became an institution occupied with planning its own purpose. In NATO strategy1999 it is stressed that a role of NATO is a protection of North-Atlantic alliance countries. Whom from? Who is a global enemy today? It is also stressed that NATO’s second role is managing the crisis caused by NATO to vindicate its purpose. Beside that, after a Fatherland war, Croatia is not longer willing to participate in wars and wish to declare itself as Republic of peace. Parallel with that Croatian membership in NATO would be senseless since NATO is interested only in the military bases in Mediterranean, as a place for protection of capital interests, interests of foreign companies, and as a source of equipment and goods, and trained soldiers for artillery meat. Croatia should offer military bases and in exchange should receive a expensive equipment, bordels, prostitutes, infectious diseases, drugs, military police and "State within the state", from NATO. The fact is, there is no any country who could pose a threat to Croatia besides NATO, and NATO members for shore will not declare war to Croatia. Slovenia is not a NATO member, Italy, as old member, excludes that idea, and Hungary, after join European Union is not a question. The only threat could pose Serbia. But if Croatia has succeeded to organize army in the early 1990 and defend from Europe’s third military forces at the time, it is not a question whether it could do that in the future with built military organization and well equipped army? Hence, there are no reasons for Croatia to become a NATO member. As a state which proclaims peace, based on impartiality, Croatia should develop politics towards Serbia to prevent threats.
Impartiality includes strong economy institutions and membership in, according to national interests, global economy institutions. Globalization of economy and politics has greatly changed the concept of territorial sovereignty of European Union members. 
In the invitation for Seminar which is going to be held at the end of January 2003 it is stressed: "Today the nature of impartiality has changed especially in accordance with new nature of conflicts and threats in international relations. Strong integration processes and even stronger inter-dependence of the world and states progressively are changing the main principles of neutrality, as for example, the principal of sovereignty and national interests. Neutral states continually are changing their behavior in international relations in accordance with real neutrality, but they stay committed to basic idea which enable them a great freedom for actions".
Globalization, as a main form in integrated the world, does not exclude impartiality, but impartiality needs to be adopted according to conditions in globalized world. Globalization is based on neo-liberalism, the idea of freedom, just as neutrality is based on idea of freedom. Hence, terms globalization and neutrality are not in contradiction if the right of freedom of choice, freedom of individual and society to choose its own future is respected. Our choice is a way towards European Union and if temporary we can’t reach it and we don’t want to be related with Western Balkan impartiality is a way for Croatian politics in globalized world. But we need International community to acknowledge this way and they will if Croatia suggests that option.

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