Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
234 Ford House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-6460
Christopher H. Smith, Chairman
Benjamin L. Cardin, Co-Chairman
Media Contact: Shelly Han
January 18, 2012



U.S. Helsinki Commission to Hold Hearing on
NATO and the Western Balkans

WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) announced today the following hearing:

“The Western Balkans and the 2012 NATO Summit”

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
2:00 pm
Room B-318 Rayburn House Office Building

As the United States and other NATO allies prepare for their summit in Chicago on May 20-21, this hearing will assess the current relationship with NATO of each of the countries of the Western Balkans with the goal of deeper engagement and further enlargement. While further enlargement of the European Union after Croatia’s entry next year remains a more distant goal, greater Euro-Atlantic integration has the potential to increase stability in the Western Balkans now, and strengthen the Alliance in the process. The focus of the hearing will be on what Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia need to do meet their respective Euro-Atlantic aspirations, including the building of democratic institutions and adherence to the rule of law at home. The hearing will also look at the potential contribution each could make to the NATO alliance, as well as NATO’s continuing role in deterring further violence and conflict in the Western Balkans.

Witnesses Scheduled to Testify:

Nida Gelazis, Senior Associate, European Studies, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Daniel Serwer, Professor and Senior Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (will participate via Skype)

Ivan Vejvoda, Vice President for Programs, German Marshall Fund of the United States


The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 56 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.