Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
234 Ford House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-6460
Hon. Christopher H. Smith, Chairman
Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Co-Chairman
Media Contact: Neil Simon
September 23, 2009


WASHINGTON—Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), announced today they will hold a hearing:

“The Western Balkans: Policy Responses to Today’s Challenges”

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

10:30 a.m.

Room: SVC 212/210 (Capitol Visitor Center)

Still unsettled from the devastating conflicts associated with Yugoslavia's demise in the 1990s, the countries of the Western Balkans remain a concern for the United States. The European Union, with its promise of enlargement and integration, has recently assumed greater responsibility to shape the international approach to Balkan recovery and reform. New challenges in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and elsewhere have prompted debate over the U.S. role in the Balkans. Six months after a Helsinki Commission hearing examined disturbing trends in the Western Balkans, and three months after a Commission-led congressional visit to Sarajevo, this hearing will examine current U.S. and E.U. efforts to maintain stability in the Western Balkans and prepare the region for European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:

• Stuart E. Jones, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs

• Björn Lyrvall, Director-General for Political Affairs, Foreign Ministry of Sweden
(current EU Presidency)