Hearing :: The Western Balkans and the 2012 NATO Summit

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Commission on Security & Cooperation in Europe:  U.S. Helsinki Commission

“The Western Balkans and the 2012 NATO Summit”

Witnesses:
Daniel Serwer,
Senior Fellow,
 Center for Transatlantic Relations,

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

Ivan Vejvoda,
Vice President,
German Marshall Fund

The Hearing Was Held at 2:00 p.m. in Room B-318 Rayburn House Office Building, 
Washington, D.C., 
Moderated by Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) 

Date:  Wednesday, January 18, 2012







Transcript by
Federal News Service
Washington, D.C. 
REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS SMITH (R-NJ):  The Commission will come to order.  And I 
apologize at the outset for the delay.  We did have a series of votes on the 
floor of the House, which precluded Mr. Turner and I and other members from 
being here.  But thank you for your patience and welcome to everyone. 

Today we will review the aspirations and the preparedness of Bosnia, Macedonia, 
Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo to join or deepen engagement with the NATO 
alliance, an important step for us and for them and quite timely in the run-up 
to the next NATO summit which will take place in Chicago on May 20th to 21st.  

In the past, I and many other Commission members, including chairman and 
co-chairman, have been very strong supporters of NATO enlargement.  It has been 
a very good thing for all, for our country and for the new democracies in 
East-Central Europe that have joined the alliance since 1998.  

Not only did enlargement stabilize Central Europe, but countries that formerly 
threatened us with militaries integrated into the Soviet-dominated Warsaw Pact 
have now become some of our closest and most trusted allies.  They have 
shouldered real responsibilities, and some of their soldiers have paid the 
ultimate sacrifice in defending liberty, particularly in Afghanistan and in 
Iraq.  

Today I believe further NATO enlargement can do likewise – stabilize the 
Western Balkans and provide our country with responsible allies.  Yet, of 
course, countries that seek to join NATO have to meet military standards and 
human rights standards.  In these respects, Bosnia, Macedonia, Serbia, 
Montenegro and Kosovo will have different challenges, and they will probably 
not be ready to join the alliance all at the same time, although they’re all 
proceeding in that direction.

With respect to human rights, many countries of the Western Balkans have made 
great progress in combating human trafficking, especially given the blatant and 
widespread trafficking of young women into the sex trade their region 
experienced just a decade ago.  In 2011, Bosnia and Macedonia joined a NATO 
member, Croatia, on Tier 1 in the State Department’s report on trafficking in 
persons.  Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia are at Tier 2, as is NATO member 
Albania.  

As the author of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, which mandates 
the tier rankings, I want to strongly urge all of these countries to take the 
action necessary to reach Tier 1 this year.  Nothing less should be expected 
from friends and possible NATO allies than to protect people from being sold 
into modern-day slavery.

Other issues before the alliance – Afghanistan, missile defense, Libya, the 
eurozone crisis – should not cause us to forget the long-term imperative of 
bringing the countries of the Western Balkans into NATO.  American soldiers 
have done duty there, including members of my own family – in Bosnia as well as 
in Kosovo.  And we don’t want that to happen again, of course.  The issue of 
stability remains, and NATO membership is key to the solution.  This means we 
have to encourage their NATO aspirations and move their applications forward as 
quickly as humanly possible.

I’d like to now yield to my good friend and colleague Mr. Turner for any 
comments he might have.  

REPRESENTATIVE MICHAEL TURNER (R-OH):  Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman.  And I 
thank you for holding this hearing and certainly picking this as a topic.  Both 
the issue of the enlargement of NATO and, of course, the issue of the Balkans 
are very important, as we all know that the enlargement of NATO has been seen 
as a pathway for ensuring the democratization of Eastern Europe, a pathway to 
EU and, of course, for a pathway for the strengthening of ties with the United 
States.

Looking at this issue with respect to the Balkans I think is very important, 
and is a topic that I think at times gets neglected.  As we look back from the 
’90s when the United States and our NATO allies joined together in trying to 
establish peace that was embodied in the Dayton Peace Accords – a treaty that 
was negotiated in my home community of Dayton, Ohio – we certainly have seen 
stability and peace, but still, I think, difficultly in how to transition the 
area to some permanency, both in Bosnia and its ungoverned – ungovernable 
constitutional structure and certainly the issues of Kosovo and Macedonia. 

I appreciate you taking the focus.  I also want to make a particular thank you 
to Ivan, the German Marshall Fund, for your focus on the issue of Bosnia.  
You’ll be participating in a forum in Dayton, Ohio, on this particular issue in 
the beginning part of February with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, and 
trying, of course, to leverage off of what you’re doing here today, Chairman, 
for looking at ways in which we can ensure that this area can transition and 
that NATO can be an important instrument in that.  So thank you for including 
me.

REP. SMITH:  Thank you very much.  I just note, for the audience, that Mr. 
Turner – Chairman Turner -- is the head of the U.S. delegation to the NATO 
Parliamentary Assembly and does wonderful work there.  And I want to thank him 
for his leadership on that very, very important assembly, because we – with our 
Parliamentary Assembly for OSCE know how important it is that the delegations 
meet and discuss.  It’s not just the executive branch; it is the legislative 
branch as well.  And Mr. Turner heads that delegation.

I’d like to now introduce our very distinguished witnesses, beginning first 
with Daniel Serwer, who’s a senior fellow at the Center for Transatlantic 
Relations and professor at the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced 
International Studies.  In the 1990s Dr. Serwer served in the State Department 
as U.S. special envoy and coordinator for the Bosnian Federation.  In the late 
1990s and until recently he also served at the U.S. Institute for Peace, 
encouraging the U.S. government to promote democracy in Serbia rather than rely 
on Slobodan Milosevic to keep his word as a Dayton signatory.

The Helsinki Commission is pleased to have him return at a hearing as a hearing 
witness, and especially today for his willingness to participate through Skype 
from Belgrade at a late hour and after a very long flight.  I would note 
parenthetically that in 1999 I authored a bill that passed the House called the 
Serbia Democracy Act.  And one of the men who really helped us craft that 
legislation was Dr. Serwer.  And I want to thank him for that.  It 
unfortunately failed in the Senate.  It was blocked from even coming to a vote, 
but it nevertheless articulated what the House really believed ought to happen 
in Serbia.  And he helped us write it.

Our second witness is Nida Gelazis, a senior associate of the European Studies 
Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where she 
directs the Working Group on the Western Balkans.  From 1994 to 1996 she served 
as managing editor of the journal, “The East European Constitution Review,” and 
in ’09 coedited “Cities after the Fall of Communism:  Reshaping Cultural 
Landscapes and the European Identity.”  Ms. Gelazis has a bachelor’s degree in 
political science from the University of Chicago and a master’s in comparative 
European international law from the European University Institute in Florence, 
Italy.

Our third witness is Ivan Vejvoda, a vice president at the German Marshall Fund 
of the United States.  He previously served as executive director of the German 
Marshall Fund’s Balkan Trust for Democracy, dedicated to strengthening 
democratic institutions in southeastern Europe.  Prior to joining the GMF 
staff, Mr. Vejvoda was a senior adviser on foreign policy and European 
integration to Serbian Prime Minister Djindjic, who was assassinated in 2003, 
and his successor Zoran Zivkovic.  In the 1990s he was among the ranks of the 
democratic opposition to Milosevic.  He holds a diploma from the Institute of 
Political Studies in Paris.  

Dr. Serwer, if you could begin your testimony.

DANIEL SERWER:  Mr. Chairman, thank you for this opportunity to appear before 
you on a subject close to both my heart and brain:  NATO and the western 
Balkans.  NATO entered the Balkans in 1993 with a no-fly zone over Bosnia.  It 
was an important moment.  Until then, Yugoslavia had been considered outside 
the NATO area, a concept that lost relevance as the alliance moved from 
thinking of itself as a defensive pact against the Soviet Union to an alliance 
protecting European and American security from risks anywhere in the world.

Two decades later, the Western Balkans are entering NATO.  Slovenia, Croatia 
and Albania have already made the strategic choice of aligning their defense 
efforts with the alliance.  They also contributed to alliance efforts in 
Afghanistan and Kosovo, taking on burdens at least proportional to their size 
and economic weight.  They enable us to devote American personnel to other 
priority missions, both NATO and non-NATO.  Slovenia, Croatia and Albania have 
also benefited from their efforts to reform their security services, 
professionalize them and reorganize them to meet NATO standards.  These are 
countries that made a profound commitment to democratic norms, even if they 
still sometimes struggle to meet them.  

Five more countries of the Western Balkans remain outside NATO today.  It is 
time to allow two of them to begin to enter – Macedonia and Montenegro.  
Macedonia has done yeomen’s work completing its Membership Action Plan.  Just 
10 years ago, ethnic war racked the country.  The conflict ended with an 
agreement to reform its state institutions, including the security services.  
The Macedonians took advantage of the opportunity to professionalize their 
security services to meet NATO standards.

I spoke Friday with Brigadier General William Roy, whose Vermont National Guard 
Brigade deployed for six months in 2010 to Afghanistan, with Macedonian troops 
integrated.  He reports in an email:  “By all accounts they perform their 
mission to the desired standard.  They were involved in a number of tactical 
engagements with enemy forces while integrated with my companies.  Most 
impressive has been the development of their NCO corps – their noncommissioned 
officer corps – a key to having a well-trained and disciplined force.”

While I might wish that Skopje would spend less money on tributes to Alexander 
the Great, the only thing keeping Macedonia from NATO membership today is the 
dispute with Greece over the country’s name, which prevented it from receiving 
an invitation at the Bucharest summit in 2008.  Since then, the International 
Court of Justice has found that Greece violated its interim accord with the 
government in Skopje when it blocked membership at Bucharest.  

May is the time to correct this injustice.  Chicago is the place.  The NATO 
summit should issue an invitation for membership to the former Yugoslav 
Republic of Macedonia or to Macedonia by whatever name Skopje and Athens may 
agree upon before then.  The United States should make it clear to Greece that 
repeating the mistake of Bucharest is not acceptable, as the ICJ has already 
said.

Mr. Chairman, with the door open to NATO open at Chicago, I would also urge 
that Montenegro be given a clear signal that it, too, will get an invitation 
once it completes its Membership Action Plan.  We should not close the door to 
a country that has been willing to join us in Afghanistan and contributes to 
U.N. operations in Somalia and Liberia.  

Three more Western countries would still remain, then, outside NATO:  Bosnia 
and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Kosovo.  None is ready for an invitation.  Bosnia 
has failed to meet the international community requirement that it resolve 
defense property issues.  It should get that done before Chicago, so it can 
embark on the membership process.  

Kosovo, which will want to join NATO as quickly as possible, is just beginning 
to think about the nature and scope of its future security forces.  The United 
States should help Kosovo establish forces that can meet its legitimate 
security interests within the NATO context, enabling the eventual withdrawal of 
NATO’s Kosovo force.  

Serbia has not indicated it wishes to join NATO due to popular distaste for an 
alliance that bombed the country in 1999 and played a crucial role in removing 
Kosovo from Milosevic-regime oppression.  Nevertheless, Serbia has participated 
in Partnership for Peace and has deployed troops to Afghanistan.  The NATO door 
should stay open.  The choice of joining or not should be Belgrade’s.  The odds 
of Belgrade joining NATO would be significantly increased if Macedonia, and 
especially Montenegro, would make clear progress toward membership in Chicago.  
NATO members would then eventually surround Serbia, making the decision to join 
geographically and strategically compelling.  

With a decision to join NATO, Belgrade would have to make other difficult 
decisions about both Bosnia and Kosovo.  Good neighborly relations are a 
prerequisite for NATO, as they are for the EU.  But EU membership is still far 
off.  Serbia could, if it wanted, join NATO much faster, but it will need to 
demonstrate unequivocally respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity 
of all its neighbors.  

Mr. Chairman, NATO membership is not a panacea.  I do not believe allowing 
Bosnia early entry, as some advocate, would be wise.  But real progress on 
membership for Macedonia and Montenegro at Chicago would impart a sense of 
momentum to the Western Balkans that is lacking today.  With Europe immersed in 
a financial crisis, only Croatia can hope for EU membership within the next few 
years.  The others will have to wait until Europe has its financial house in 
order.  

Many current members have found NATO provides relief from the historic baggage 
of past wars, ethnic conflicts and mass atrocities.  It is a good idea to 
extend an invitation to Macedonia at Chicago and make welcoming noises to 
Montenegro.  Joining an alliance to make the world safer for democratic 
societies is a noble cause.  The door should remain open for others to enter 
when they are ready and willing.  NATO expansion into the Balkans serves U.S. 
interests, not only in that region but wherever NATO or U.S. forces deploy in 
the future.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

REP. SMITH:  Thank you so very much, Dr. Serwer.  

We’ve been joined by Robert Aderholt, a member of the Commission.  Any opening 
comment, Robert?

REPRESENTATIVE ROBERT ADERHOLT (R-AL):  No.  Thank you Mr. Chairman.  It’s good 
to be here, and look forward to hearing the testimonies this afternoon.

REP. SMITH:  Thank you, Mr. Aderholt.  

We’ve also been joined by Eliot Engel, who is a senior member of the Foreign 
Affairs Committee, and a man who is tenacious on issues relative to Kosovo and 
human rights there.  I’d like to yield any time he would like to take.

REPRESENTATIVE ELIOT ENGEL (D-NY):  Well, thank you.  Thank you very much, Mr. 
Chairman.  Let me personally thank you for the wonderful work that you have 
always done for so many years.  I’ve been in Congress now for 23, you came 
before me, and even when I came your name was out there as someone who always 
stood up for what he believed was right.  And I think we’ve got to have more 
people who do that.  So thank you for your work, and thank you for the 
opportunity to sit on the dais here at today’s very important hearing.  I’m not 
a member of the Commission, but I do appreciate the welcome the Commission has 
shown me, you in particular, through the years.

As you know, and you mentioned it Mr. Chairman, I’ve long taken an interest in 
the Western Balkans.  I have an interest in expanding NATO into the Western 
Balkans and this has been a passion of mine ever since the former Yugoslavia 
broke up.  In 2003, the House passed my resolution commending the U.S.-Adriatic 
Charter, which set the stage for Albania, Croatia and Macedonia to join NATO 
and, as we all know today, there’s still work to do, as several countries 
remain outside of NATO.  

Until Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosova and even Serbia enter NATO as their 
fellow Balkan countries already have, our job is not done, although I have 
taken a particular interest in Kosova and am anxious for Serbia or other 
countries not to block Kosova from entering the European Union, as they are 
doing in the United Nations.  I think that’s counterproductive.  All of the 
Balkan countries need to enter all of the Euro-Atlantic structures, not only 
NATO but the EU as well.  And again, I have no objection to Serbia going into 
the EU, as long as Kosova goes into the EU at the same time so Serbia cannot 
block Kosova. 

I would just briefly like to talk about one key issue facing Kosova, and that’s 
the future of KFOR, the NATO Kosova Force.  I’m a strong supporter of KFOR’s 
continued presence in Kosova.  I reject any talk of KFOR leaving.  And until 
we’re sure that the security situation is resolved in Kosova, I believe that we 
should not remove additional forces.  I believe that Camp Bondsteel should stay 
open and that we should not pull back.  

I realize there’s been a slow drawdown in national contingents in Kosova, but I 
think the recent blockades and other events in northern Kosova have shown the 
world that now is not the time for countries to remove additional forces from 
Kosova.  In fact, I believe that as our country removes forces from Iraq and 
the rest of Europe, this is a very good time to shift by a moderate amount -- a 
few battalions or so – to the U.S. contingent in Kosova.  

We’ve got a good base at Camp Bondsteel – I was just there two months ago – 
with ample space for our troops and the Kosovars want us to stay.  So I think 
the choice is simple.  And I want to just state very simply, we’re not talking 
thousands and thousands of troops, just over 1,000 to guarantee the peace and 
to ensure that our worthy investment in Kosovo is not in vain.  I can hardly 
think of a place in the world which is more pro-U.S. than the people of Kosova. 
 So it would be a pity if, just to save a few dollars, we’re not present when 
this region needs us the most.

So I thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I yield back, and I’m interested obviously in 
hearing what the distinguished witnesses have to say.

REP. SMITH:  Thank you so much, Mr. Engel.  I’d like to now yield to our second 
witness, Ms. Gelazis.  The floor is yours.

NIDA GELAZIS:  Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, members of the Helsinki 
Commission.  Thank you for this opportunity to testify on NATO and the Western 
Balkans.  I’ll base my testimony on some of the conclusions from Working Group 
meetings organized at the Wilson Center which aimed at finding common ground on 
European and American perspectives on the region’s Euro-Atlantic integration.

These discussions were based on three premises:  first, that peace and 
stability in the Western Balkans can only be achieved by shifting domestic 
politics away from ethnonationalist ambitions and toward building open and 
democratic institutions that serve the interests of all citizens and will allow 
the country to actively participate in European institutions; second, the 
process of becoming a member of European Union and NATO is itself 
transformative, and that transformation can end abruptly once a country 
achieves membership; third, given the region’s legacy of conflict, it will be 
more difficult for the Western Balkans to meet the accession criteria for NATO 
and the EU than it was during previous enlargements.

Working from these premises, it’s important to recognize that the European 
Union’s enlargement process has a much stronger transformative power than NATO 
enlargement.  NATO’s norms focus squarely on military issues, which are 
relatively easier to implement, given the natural hierarchy within defense 
institutions.  Therefore, though NATO requires that all candidates are 
democracies, it relies on outside standards and actors to measure and evaluate 
democratic consolidation.  As in previous enlargements, ensuring that state 
institutions are effective and democratic is driven by the EU.

Therefore, NATO enlargement is not a replacement for EU enlargement.  It is 
essential, rather, that the United States continue to actively support not only 
NATO but also EU enlargement, as well as the countries in the Western Balkans, 
to help them achieve the goal of Euro-Atlantic integration.

The distinction between the transformative impact of EU and NATO is made clear 
by the difference between the two countries that became NATO members in 2009, 
Croatia and Albania.  Both countries met the criteria for NATO accession, and 
today they have active troops participating in the International Security 
Assistance Force in Afghanistan.  But where the Croatian government continues 
to adopt political and economic reforms that were necessary for EU accession, 
Albania’s progress has been stalled by a political impasse, allegations of 
government corruption and election irregularities.  The transformation in the 
former meant that Croatia was invited to join the EU last year, while the 
council postponed offering Albania candidate status.

It’s important to keep this limited capacity in mind as we move forward.  NATO 
membership may soon be granted to several countries that have met, or are 
working to meet, the criteria.  But we should be aware that those reforms are 
limited, compared to the transformation that the EU requires.  Moreover, once 
countries become members, the opportunity to resolve internal and external 
problems diminishes substantially.

Indeed, NATO and the EU have run into the same problems in many of the 
countries in the region.  And since NATO has fewer tools at its disposal, the 
EU is seen as the leader in transforming the region, especially when it comes 
to bilateral issues.  The events of the last few months highlight the problems 
facing the international community.

In Kosovo, NATO returned to its former role as the first responder after 
barricades were erected in the north.  Although NATO had planned to further 
reduce its troops in Kosovo by the end of 2011, this reduction was postponed 
due to the violence that broke out.  The violent reaction to protests by 
Kosovar police that took place last weekend does not inspire confidence that 
local police will be able to take over from NATO anytime soon.  Meanwhile, the 
EU-led delegations between Priština and Belgrade have been slow but relatively 
fruitful, especially since the EU has the power to bring Serbia to the table 
with the carrot of candidate status.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, it took 14 months to form a government, which 
stalled the progress towards meeting the final requirement for activating the 
Membership Action Plan.  During this period, NATO officers could do little 
aside from conducting an audit of the defense property.  It remains to be seen 
how long it will take for the entities to muster the political will to transfer 
state and defense property to the government.  Even if this is done relatively 
quickly, the country’s constitution, as well as the continued presence of the 
Office of the High Representative, challenges democratic credentials.  NATO 
enlargement, therefore, cannot replace EU enlargement, but both must be 
elements of a larger, coordinated policy between the American and European 
partners.

Another observation of the working group is that, because integration into 
European institutions is an elite-driven process, it is left to politicians in 
the region to explain the accession process to their constituents.  In some 
cases, politicians have created narratives in which conditionality is seen as 
blackmail, or that meeting conditions undermines national interests.

This is most notably the case in Macedonia, where Greece is blamed for the lack 
of progress in both EU and NATO accession.  The fact that the International 
Court of Justice recently ruled in Macedonia’s favor would seem to be further 
evidence to support the claim.  However, the European Commission’s recent 
progress report identifies a series of worrisome political trends in the 
country, which require us to question whether the country is moving in the 
direction of building a consolidated democracy.  Albania’s admission to NATO 
might serve as an example here.

If the United States wants to see effective democratic institutions and an 
effective cooperation between ethnic groups in Macedonia, there may be good 
reason to wait for an agreement with Greece, since an agreement would offer 
evidence that Macedonia’s leaders have put their undemocratic, ethnonationalist 
aims behind them.  At the same time, the United States ought to put more 
pressure on Greece to participate in finding a workable solution.

In Serbia, the process of European integration is broadly seen as trading 
national interests for economic development.  The public is, understandably, 
even less sympathetic towards NATO.  It is therefore important for the United 
States and its partners to engage with civil society organizations in Serbia 
and throughout the region, as a way to offer a different narrative about the EU 
and NATO accession processes, and in order to support local NGOs that are 
making demands on their governments which are in line with EU and NATO 
conditions.  Direct communication with civil society will help to maintain 
support for reforms, even with a protracted accession process.

Direct engagement with the public will also diminish another problem that was 
identified by the working group:  that the primacy of the EU and NATO accession 
policy is seen as evidence that America is pulling out from the region.  The 
U.S., therefore, should be more visible in public debates about Euro-Atlantic 
integration.  We ought to show that the EU and NATO integration are linked, and 
that we are putting our weight behind this process.  Our involvement with civil 
society should aim at increasing the authenticity of international conditions, 
showing that the conditions are legitimate and necessary, and that they do not 
compete with national interests.

With the cooperation of our partners in Europe, we can work on developing 
policies similar to the successful visa liberalization strategy, which combined 
conditions with clear and immediate rewards.  We might consider what more could 
be done through the Adriatic Charter or the National Guard State Partnership 
Program to create additional engagement between the United States and the 
countries of the region.  Adding additional programs will reinforce the message 
that the transformative process of the integration is the prize, not just 
membership.  Thank you very much.

REP. SMITH:  Thank you for your testimony.  

Mr. Vejvoda.

IVAN VEJVODA:  Thank you.  Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for 
your leadership of this Commission, keeping the Balkans on the agenda of the 
Commission and of the international agenda.  Given the burning issues elsewhere 
in the world, and given the progressive stabilization and reinforcement of 
peace in the region, it is easy to forget that we have not come to harbor yet.  
And thus efforts by both the United States and the European Union are required 
to help this region achieve its ultimate goal of full peace and stability in a 
Europe whole, free, and at peace and democratic.  So it is most timely that, 
with the approaching NATO summit in Chicago, you are addressing these issues.

Let me just for a moment go to the wider Balkans, if I can put it that way, and 
remind ourselves that the story of NATO begins with the accession of Greece and 
Turkey in 1952.  And then with a long gap of the Cold War, the accession of 
Romania and Bulgaria in 2004 has been very important – important in the sense 
that it has encircled positively the region that we’re talking about, the 
Western Balkans.  And I call this region the “inner courtyard” of both the 
European Union and NATO.  And that in itself, I think, has been a stabilizing 
factor.

The fact that Albania and Croatia have joined recently at the Strasbourg-Kehl 
summit in 2009 has been very significant for this final part of integration.  I 
would like to remind us that Croatia, in four days’ time, is voting in a 
referendum on its accession to the European Union.  This will be an extremely 
important signal to all the countries of this region that the merit-based 
approach on democratic and market reforms, if accomplished, is rewarded by 
joining these institutions.

And that in itself is very significant, both for NATO enlargement, because 
there is a system of communicating vessels here.  This is a tightly knit region 
that used to, most of its part, form the part of former Yugoslavia.  There are 
strong bonds, irrespective of what happened in the ‘90s, and there is an effect 
of the Joneses – what the Joneses do is also followed by the other neighbors.

And so Croatia, being the locomotive of this mini-train moving forward, has a 
pulling effect.  And I would submit to you, Mr. Chairman, that the fact that 
Bosnia has managed to put a government together just a few weeks ago is the 
result, in fact, of this accession process moving forward, and of Serbia 
possibly getting candidacy to the European Union in March.  And so it’s very 
important, as we discuss the individual countries, to look at how the region is 
progressing as a whole.  And I will come back to that a little later.

I would also like to mention that it is important to look at the relations 
between the European Union and NATO itself.  And I think much can be done to 
advocate a closening of the gap between these two organizations, even though 
there are contexts – the fact that Turkey does not recognize Cyprus is an 
impeding element in the closer relations and the closer joint activities of 
these two paramount organizations.

But Euro-Atlantic integration also means the steady integration into other 
institutions that we mention less, and I would like to applaud the entry of 
Montenegro into the World Trade Organization in December.  Serbia has not yet 
achieved that – Kosovo neither – and I think that we have to look at those 
other parts of that broader Euro-Atlantic framework, of which, of course, NATO 
and the EU are the spine.

I would like to mention, along with my colleagues, the importance of civil 
society in these activities.  The fact that we have a number of think tanks and 
NGOs – not only the Atlantic councils or the Atlantic associations – that are 
endeavoring to pursue this effort has been important for helping these 
countries move forward.  The diversity of relations that exist regionally 
between the NGOs I think has spurred on also the state military security and 
other institutional levels.

And in this regard, the Regional Cooperation Council based in Sarajevo has done 
– and particularly in the past two years – very much to bring these 
institutions together.  Most notably, again, over the past two months, the 
intelligence chiefs of the militaries of the region have met.  The defense 
ministers meet regularly within their cooperation process.  And at NATO 
Brussels, the Southeast European countries have their organization, which in 
fact will be chaired by Serbia’s head of delegation during the year 2012.

This is maybe the granular view, but I think it’s important when we consider 
how the movement, often slow and sometimes frustrating for those of us who are 
from the region, nonetheless advances.  And thus if we look back to 2000 – the 
year of the demise of the Miloševi? regime through a peaceful electoral change 
– and we look where we are today in January 2012, we see this progressive chart 
that we have witnessed over the years, in spite of the slides, ebbs and flows 
in some of these developments.

That is to say that the positive incitement – again, on a merit-based approach 
– to  advance to these countries is extremely important.  And thus I would 
concur with my esteemed colleagues that to pursue NATO’s membership in NATO, 
possibly already at the Chicago summit, would be very important.  The fact that 
Macedonia didn’t become a member in 2009 was detrimental to the process of 
further stabilization of the region.  It would have been a very strong signal 
to the country itself, but to the rest of us who are in that region.

Montenegro also has made significant advances, and I would also project that, 
now that Bosnia has a government – or will have it in a few weeks’ time – will 
also move to the resolution of the property issue that has been a major 
obstacle to the implementation of the Membership Action Plan.  And thus, this 
progressive movement indicates the political willingness of the region to move 
forward.

Serbia, of course, is an outlier, as Dan Serwer said, because of the history of 
the conflict between NATO and Serbia, then called the Federal Republic of 
Yugoslavia.  Nonetheless – even though this state of neutrality that was voted 
in by the Serbian parliament in 2006 has said, for the moment, no to membership 
– on all other fronts there has been significant advance, especially with the 
individual plan of Serbia moving forward, and of course of the full mission 
that is present there.

The relations – and in particular the situation in Kosovo – I think have been a 
wake-up call in July.  But I would say that all actors, including Priština and 
Belgrade and the international actors, have realized that we were all on a 
razor’s edge during the past summer and into the early autumn.  And everyone 
has taken a much more moderate position and followed the dialogue through, and 
the dialogue between the two will be pursued in the coming days.  In fact, 
Robert Cooper, the EU facilitator, will be in the region in the coming days to 
move it to the next step, and hopefully the actors will find it in themselves 
to find a compromise on the particular issue of Kosovo’s participation in 
regional meetings.

I would also mention that the role of women in security is an extremely 
important part of this broader NATO integration framework.  And the UN Security 
Council 1325 has spurred a number of countries in the region to develop nation 
– national action plans, which also contribute to the strengthening of regional 
cooperation.

I would just like to correct my colleague Dan Serwer; Serbia is not 
participating in Afghanistan in the ISAF mission.  All other countries of the 
region are participating, although there was an offer under the Prime Minster, 
Mirko Cvetkovi?, for that participation that never materialized.

I would like to end these brief remarks quoting a renowned social scientist, 
Albert Hischman, who in a seminal book entitled “The Passions and the 
Interests”, I would say that if we were to summarize, the region has been 
moving from ethnonationalist passion to interest without losing passion for 
Euro-Atlantic integration.  Thank you.

REP. SMITH:  Mr. Vejvoda, thank you very much for your testimony.  All three of 
you, thank you.  Let me just begin the questioning first.  Dr. Serwer mentioned 
that Macedonia has done yeoman’s work and really should be invited to join 
NATO.  I wonder if our two distinguished witnesses here in Washington agree 
with that.

MS. GELAZIS:  I think that it should definitely be invited, but I think that 
there is a very large hurdle with its relationships with Greece obviously and 
that I think after enlargement, the international community will lose some of 
its leverage over trying to bring about a workable solution.  We should keep 
that in mind.

I personally would not block any country from joining NATO, and I think NATO 
enlargement is certainly a benefit to everyone.  But I think that we should 
also consider what our abilities to effect change will be after enlargement is 
granted.

REP. SMITH:  OK.

MR. VEJVODA:  I would like to add that here we see the negative results of 
keeping a country from moving forward, even in spite of the merits of its 
reforms.  I would like to remind you that Macedonia was given candidate status 
to the European Union in 2005, and that NATO in Bucharest agreed that Macedonia 
had met all the requirements.  The fact that it not – did not move forward into 
negotiations for accession to the European Union, for example in 2006, or did 
not get membership, has unfortunately used certain populist politics that have 
not helped the democratic reform process.

And thus anything that can be done to encourage our Macedonian and Greek 
friends to find that difficult compromise, that difficult middle ground – and 
of course we all know how difficult symbolic and identity politics are; they’re 
probably the deepest issues – and names in particular – what’s in a name, one 
would say – but we see how detrimental that has been to the region.  So I would 
encourage a decision to move Macedonia forward because it will help the – what 
is at heart to all of us, and that is to further stability and peace in the 
region.

REP. SMITH:  Ms. Gelazis, you indicated – and you just did it again in your 
statement – that perhaps after enlargement, after being accepted, the process 
of reform slows or comes to a halt.  On the economic front that has always been 
the case, at least when it regards to human rights, in my opinion.  Even when 
China was accepted into WTO and we granted MFN, not only did human rights or 
any progress towards human rights cease, they went into a very serious 
reversal.  And the same thing happened most recently with Vietnam.  When the 
bilateral agreement was agreed to, that very day there was a reversal, and Bloc 
8406 -- which was patterned after Charter 77, the great human rights 
organization founded by Vaclav Havel and others -- went into immediate reversal 
in Vietnam as soon as the economic benefit was gleaned.

But my question is, does that also hold true with the dynamic responsibilities 
that are inherent in joining a military organization, like NATO, where the 
military needs to increase its conformity, I would think, to doctrine and to 
command and control and all the other aspects that is required?  Unlike in an 
economic situation and the human rights linkage, it would seem that the 
military component here, joining NATO, leads to more progress.  And I’m 
wondering how our other colleagues or witnesses might feel about that.

And I would ask you if you could, in your answer, with Albania and Croatia 
having joined in 2009, did the rate of progress continue with them once they 
had achieved NATO membership?

Dan?
MR.  SERWER:  I think the progress often slows.  Nevertheless, I think that,  
as Ivan has suggested, to hold people artificially out of the alliance also 
causes retrograde political movements, which has certainly happened to some 
degree in Macedonia.  But as I indicated, I don’t think it’s serious enough to 
continue to block them from NATO membership – in fact, quite to the contrary.  
I think getting them in now is really very important.

Croatia, as you know, is under pressure to do an enormous array of reforms as 
part of its EU membership process.  So I don’t think it has slowed much since 
membership in NATO.  Albania is a very difficult political environment.  I’ve 
never quite understood what makes it quite as difficult as it is, as it doesn’t 
have the kind of ethnic differences that have made for problems in the other 
Balkans countries.  But it is a fact that Albania has struggled to meet 
democratic norms even after membership in NATO.

Mr. Chairman, I should apologize.  I trust Ivan is correct, that Serbia did not 
deploy in Afghanistan.  I’m not sure how that error got into my text, but I’m 
sorry for it.  Thank you.

REP. SMITH:  Would you like to respond?

MR. VEJVODA:  Yeah, I’d like to add a few words on Albania.  I think we must 
really acknowledge, in answering this question, that Albania had a much more 
difficult starting point than any other country in the post-communist world.  
This was, to coin a phrase, a totally totalitarian country, under Enver Hoxha, 
for decades.  

And simply the institutional basis from which they began was minus-a-hundred 
compared to all other countries.  Former Yugoslavia was very much plugged into 
the West, had open borders, people working in Europe, constant contacts – 
academic, institutional – was a member of the IMF, World Bank, et cetera.  And 
thus I think what we’re seeing today is in fact part of that negative legacy of 
the starting point.  And there have been Herculean efforts on the part of 
Albanian democrats to move forward, but simply without wanting to be 
deterministic or, you know, following Montesquieu-climate and geography, still 
I think one has to have strategic patience but also encourage Albanian 
colleagues and democrats to overcome the differences that have created 
obstacles and actually further developing institutional stability.  

Croatia is simply in a different environment, and they have had to address 
difficult issues.  And in fact, the EU is still monitoring them in this time up 
to the actual accession moment, which will be in July 2013, in particular on 
the issue of the judiciary.

REP. SMITH:  Part of the reason for the question is that things like MFN did 
not lead to the reforms that we expected, but can we expect that an early or at 
least a timely acceptance into NATO could actually accelerate those reforms, 
particularly militarily?

MS. GELAZIS:  I think it’s important to look at the policy options before us 
not simply as a switch between whether or not we give or don’t grant NATO 
accession.  I think there are many policy options that are available to us if 
we think creatively about the associations that we already have with these 
countries, if we think creatively about the different international 
institutions that are active on the ground in countries like Macedonia and 
Albania, and we think of ways that we can work with our partners in Europe to 
build programs that are parallel towards on the track, towards NATO accession.  
I think that gives us more leeway in terms of crafting a specific policy that’s 
geared to the very unique issues that each of these countries confronts.  So 
that’s something I think we should keep in mind.  Whether or not progress slows 
is, I think, dependent also on how we deal with these countries on a day-to-day 
basis and the relationships that we create for the long run.

REP. SMITH:  I have some additional questions, but I understand that Chairman 
Turner needs to leave, so I’d like to yield to him.

REP. TURNER:  Mr. Chairman, thank you so much, and I want to again thank you 
for focusing on this issue and this area.  The Balkans are, as we look to both 
the written testimony and the great participation of the testimony that we have 
here, have a number of complex issues that require a very thoughtful approach.  
And in that I’d like to address part of that in my question.

You know, my concern as we look to what happened after the Dayton peace accords 
with this area and with Bosnia , I think as we look into the structure of the 
government in Bosnia, the tri-presidency, the constitution that’s there, we’re 
all thankful that they have now been able to form a government after the period 
-  I think you had indicated 14 months in your testimony - that had been where 
people were concerned as to if the parties were going to be able to come 
together.  We have Croatia and Serbia and perhaps even Montenegro developing 
economically and looking elsewhere, with Bosnia at their backyard, but not 
really being a top priority for either Croatia, Serbia or other neighbors for 
resolution.

My concern is that Bosnia- Herzegovina is getting neglected in its resolution.  
If we look to NATO as an incentive or the EU as an incentive, we still might be 
locked in sort of a stasis with Bosnia.  I believe that you referenced in your 
testimony that the constitution was ungovernable.  I believe that even beyond 
just using NATO as an incentive or a carrot or even a progressive to-do list to 
assess what the parties in the Balkans need to do to transition toward 
integration into NATO and Europe, that there needs to be some more active U.S. 
efforts to try to resolve what really are the collective disintegration of the 
Yugoslavia issues.  I think each of the parties look almost to their neighbor 
and say, well, when Kosovo’s resolved, we’ll resolve the Republika Srpska; when 
Macedonia and its name is resolved, then, you know, perhaps we’ll resolve the 
issue of what we’re going to do with other areas of conflict or controversy.

So looking even beyond the issue of Chicago and recognizing in all your 
testimony you say Bosnia is not ready to move, what do we need to do?  How do 
we, the United States, need to be more active to ensure that NATO can be a 
realistic goal, ultimately, for Bosnia, recognizing from all of your testimony 
that it’s clearly not there now?

I think we begin with Ivan.

MR. VEJVODA:  Thank you, Congressman Turner.  To put it in a nutshell, I think 
Bosnia will move, but it will be the last and the slowest.  And that’s a 
positive statement.
Again, within the former Yugoslavia, Bosnia has probably the most difficult 
legacy, and it is different than all the other former republics of Yugoslavia 
in that it was a kind of mini triune country where Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks 
have, over the decades, under the previous empires, had a complex arrangement 
of power shareholding, consociationalism.  And Dayton and the Dayton 
constitution of Bosnia was not plucked out of the air.  It is based on that 
very complex history.  And of course, that is what makes it very difficult to 
govern.

But I think that the example that I mention of the government suddenly being 
formed when nobody really expected it after more than 14 months, or the other 
example that Bosnia was able to follow the road map to visa-free liberalization 
after Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia got it more than two years ago, suddenly 
Bosnia realized that it was falling behind, and the politicians had no qualms 
about kicking their administrations into gear to do what those previous 
countries had done.  This is not such a small example of this pulling effect 
that the region has on Bosnia.  I think it’s very important that Croatia and 
Serbia and Montenegro as neighbors of Bosnia and Herzegovina, irrespective what 
one may think, but in general are trying to have a constructive approach in 
that they all repeat the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Bosnia and 
Herzegovina.  Could they do more?  Yes, of course they could.  And I think with 
the new government in Zagreb that has just been inducted, and the good 
relations that they have with Serbia, I think more will be done after we come 
out of the Serbia, elections.

But the European Union definitely, as the slow-moving juggernaut, should also 
be doing more with the support of the United States.  And I think that there’s 
more than meets the eye.  Let me say just one more thing.  The trade and the 
mutual dependency on trade of each of these countries is much bigger than they 
thought.  And these countries, and Bosnia in particular, realized this as the 
global economic crisis came on.   They are completely dependent, and most of 
the intraregional trade actually goes between the three of them.  So without 
each other, they could not economically survive, even in these adverse 
circumstances.

MS. GELAZIS:  I agree with Ivan, that we should look to the successful examples 
in Bosnia for a clue to how to unlock the seemingly impossible political 
deadlock there.  And visa liberalization and in forming the government 
recently, we see that the politicians were motivated by totally rational 
motivators.  In order to have a budget for this year, they needed to form a 
government before December 31st.  So, you know, people, politicians in the 
region and especially in Bosnia respond to the incentives that are put before 
them.  So we should think about those incentives as we continue to target 
specific sectors for our reforms there.

Even though we want to see progress in the region, we should realize that NGOs 
on the ground, grassroots movements that are fully in support of EU and NATO 
enlargement, have been using NATO and EU criteria to hold their representatives 
to account.  So if the international community gives them a free pass, we’re 
undermining the work that is being done to create democracy from the grass 
roots, and we should keep in that in mind that it’s a trade-off when we give 
progress to a country without having them actually fulfilled the criteria.  We 
should feel a greater responsibility to the people on the ground in the NGO 
community, in the grassroots political development, and make sure that those 
interests are being met too, and not just in the interests of the political 
elite.

MR. SERWER:  Might I add?

REP. TURNER:  Yes, please do.

MR. SERWER:  I think the heart of the matter in Bosnia is constitutional 
reform.  And I don’t think there will be constitutional reform unless the 
European Union insists on it.  The Americans have conducted initiative after 
initiative in this area, and frankly, we failed.  But the EU has the leverage 
to succeed, and we should be working with them to make sure that they use that 
leverage.

I would add that I think that Serbia in particular could do more to be helpful 
inside of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The fact of the matter is that Mr. Dodik is 
part of the problem inside Bosnia.  He’s taken a very nationalist tack in which 
he is really trying to dismantle the state institutions as much as he is 
permitted to do.  It really is up to Belgrade to tell him that he has gone too 
far.

REP. TURNER:  Mr. Chairman, thank you again for holding this very important 
hearing.

REP. SMITH:  I thank you, Chairman Turner.  Mr. Aderholt?

REPRESENATIVE ROBERT ADERHOLT (R-AL):  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I wanted to 
follow up on Chairman Smith’s question a little bit earlier about Albania and 
Croatia and their joining the NATO.  And as a follow-up question, has the NATO 
membership in Albania and Croatia influenced their subsequent political 
development?

MS. GELAZIS:  I think that it was seen as evidence that the international 
community does want to embrace the Western Balkans, that the idea that the 
Western Balkans will be part of Europe and take institutions is not just a 
dream, not just sort of on paper but that it – that it really will happen.  I 
think it was an important signal not only to the Croats and the Croatians and 
the Albanians but also to the rest – for the people of the rest of the region, 
that this sort of merit-based progress is open to all of them.  And in that 
sense, there – that certainly helped.  I think because of the historical legacy 
in Albania, progress was a bit more slow.  There – and in Croatia, they were 
able to muster support or to make sure that that created a momentum for 
adopting EU reforms as well.

But there is certainly a positive impact that simply being a member can make, 
but because there aren’t democratic processes that are involved with being in 
NATO, there is a sort of limited impact that actually being a NATO member can 
make on democratic reforms on a day-to-day basis.  But the spirit of it, the 
spirit of openness, the spirit of membership is certainly an important factor.

REP. ADERHOLT:  Just as a follow-up, can Croatia and Albania have a role in 
moving other countries forward?

MS. GELAZIS:  They should.  I think that through the Adriatic Charter, there is 
an opportunity to help.  I think Croatia has already taken a role in sharing 
documents with the EU and with NATO enlargement, helping its neighbors figure 
out the complex legal structures.  And they ought to be encouraged, especially 
since they are in, to help show the path to their neighbors.  This sort of 
spirit of cooperation was certainly alive with the Vilnius group in previous 
enlargements to NATO, where part of the process of becoming a member state of 
NATO was showing that this region was able to cooperate with each other.  And 
so it wouldn’t be a burden, they wouldn’t just be adding new members that 
couldn’t or didn’t know how to cooperate.  So that sort of process in the 
western Balkans would be very welcome, and I think there are current 
institutions that could be used more readily to achieve those goals.

MR. VEJVODA:  You know, I would concur with that opinion.  Definitely it was a 
very positive signal to the whole region.  Again, repeating what I said at the 
beginning, the European and NATO enlargement truly go hand-in-hand, and NATO 
accession – again, with the exception of Serbia – is seen as a very significant 
step in the direction of full completion of democratic reforms.

I would add also that having the militaries and their intelligence services at 
the table of NATO is a very important stabilizing element not only because it 
reinforces the mechanisms of democratic control of the military and of the 
intelligence and security services, but also because it imbues the hearts and 
minds of those officers who are participating of the ways in which a democratic 
political military organization such as NATO goes about its business so that 
there’s an osmosis between the international or rather NATO-level and the 
domestic level.  And I think this in itself is a stabilizing element for the 
domestic political arena.  Croatia, both its previous and its recent current 
government have, as Nida has mentioned, been very vocal in saying that they 
will support all the integration processes of those countries south of them who 
have not yet joined these institutions.  

REP. ADERHOLT:  Dr. Serwer.  Go ahead.  

MR. SERWER:  I would just add this, that none of the problems with the, recent 
members of NATO have to do with the involvement of the military in politics of 
being outside civilian control.  It  is very important to recognize that there 
is a whole category of problems that might have been imagined to exist, which 
do not exist for these new NATO members.  And I think that’s part of the 
osmosis process that Ivan referred to, that these guys are all learning what 
the role of the military is in the democratic society, and they are conforming 
to that norm.  And I think that’s a very, very important achievement.  

REP. ADERHOLT:  Let me just follow up, if I could, with just one more question. 
 What impact should the 2011 decision of the International Court of Justice 
have on U.S. policy regarding Macedonia’s NATO bid?

MR. VEJVODA:  Well, very briefly because we’ve, I think, discussed this:  I 
think it’s a very significant decision by this highest judicial institution of 
the United Nations.  And also the convincing vote of the judges, 15 to 1, I 
think speaks to the seriousness of the way in which they adjudicated this case. 
 Simply, Greece was in breach of the agreement from the early 1990s and has 
shown that it has been, in political terms, detrimental to what I think we’re 
all seeking here, namely, the further stability and peace of this region that 
went through a conflict in the 1990s.  And thus, any further delay – and this 
is for the policy of the United States and the European Union – any further 
delay would be additionally detrimental and could be negative to the kind of 
political dynamics that we have in the region and in the particular countries 
at hand.   

Of course, one recognizes the difficulties that Greece has.  It is on the front 
pages of all the international media, and I think we can sympathize with the 
plight of the Greek people.  But nonetheless, leadership is about making 
difficult decisions, and this one has been around for close to 20 years.  And I 
don’t think that in what is, in effect, without disrespecting microregion – and 
we are all microcountries – Macedonia, 2 million Serbia the biggest in the 
Western Balkans, 7 ½ million – that we need to look at the bigger picture.  And 
how does one survive in the world, even at the best of stages, but now 
especially when there is a lack of foreign direct investments on which all of 
these countries depend to have their economies produce jobs.  The levels of 
unemployment are very high throughout the region.  And anything that could 
better the image – and, in this case, this would be a very significant signal 
to investors, let alone policymakers and governments – would be very positive.  
And thus, hopefully, a sign could be given that would hearten Macedonia and the 
region to move forward towards membership.  

REP. ADERHOLT:  Any other comments?

MS. GELAZIS:  I think that the initial reaction to the ICJ decision from NATO 
was that – I don’t remember exactly the quote – this doesn’t mean that it would 
be automatic, Macedonia wouldn’t automatically be granted accession to NATO.  I 
think there have been many comments from meetings that I participated in that 
say that – or people have said that many European countries and the EU 
Commission have sort been hiding behind Greece’s blocking the progress of 
Macedonia for and – for other reasons, that there are – that there are concerns 
about the democratic consolidation in Macedonia.  There are concerns about the 
handling of the ethnic minorities and vulnerable persons that – and I think 
with the ICJ decision, we may see some of these other concerns coming out as 
well.  This is a good thing because then we can address those concerns head-on. 
 

We can end this idea that there is simply Greece as the only factor blocking 
Macedonia.  I think there are other things that on NGO community in Macedonia 
is aware of, that human rights organizations have been tracking, that democracy 
promotion organizations have been looking at that have to do with freedom of 
the media, that have to do with judiciary, that have to do with the corruption. 
 And I think these are issues that need to be addressed.  I think that, for the 
United States government, this is an – the ICJ decision is an invitation to – 
for us to engage even more strongly with Greece to work on a solution, to make 
sure that this isn’t seen as the only – you know, the only issue that’s 
hampering progress for Macedonia. 

MR. SERWER:  Mr. Chairman, let me be blunt.  If there’s no change at all as a 
result of the ICJ decision, you’re going to see bad things happening in 
Macedonia.  It’s a country in which both ethnic Macedonians and ethnic 
Albanians want to see progress towards NATO, in which they have both taken 
political risks for that.  And they are both going to turn inward to their own 
ethnic constituencies and towards more ethnic politics if nothing happens in 
Chicago.  It would be a big mistake, it seems to me.  We’ve already seen the 
negative impact of what happened at Bucharest.  We shouldn’t repeat the same 
mistake in Chicago.  The United States has a strong role to play here in urging 
Athens and Skopje either to come to a solution of the name before Chicago, or 
agree to proceed with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as the name of 
the country for NATO purposes.  Thank you.  

REP. ADERHOLT:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  

REP. SMITH:  Mr. Engel?  

REP. ENGEL:  Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.  I want to thank all 
three witnesses – I – for excellent testimony, and I virtually agree with 
everything they’ve said.  And it’s very, very important that we focus on this – 
on this region.  

In my opening statement, I mentioned KFOR, the NATO Kosova force, and I said 
that I am opposed to the further reduction of troops because there have been 
provocations and some violence in the northern part of Kosova.  And I even 
think, again, that as our country removes forces from Iraq and the rest of 
Europe, this would be a good time for the U.S. to shift to – by a moderate 
amount, a few battalions – to the U.S. contingent in Kosova. 

The NATO peacekeeping mission, the KFOR, has had to respond to provocations in 
violence in north Mitrovica, in the northern part of Kosova.  I’m wondering if 
our witnesses could assess KFOR’s response.  I happen to believe that we cannot 
allow these things to fester and keep kicking the can down the road because 
violence on both sides is just festering, and until we handle the problem, I 
just think we run the risk of more violence.  I strongly believe in the 
territorial integrity of Kosova.  I know there are some in Belgrade that would 
like to partition Kosova and have the north be part of Belgrade, of Serbia.  
But I don’t think that that’s something you can do or should be doing in the 
Balkans.  And I think that we need to very forcefully defend the territory of 
Kosova and not allow these Serbian parallel institutions or other such things 
to happen, or we’re going to continue, I fear, to see more violence as we did 
this past weekend.  So I’m wondering if our panelists could tell us how they 
would assess KFOR’s response so far with the difficulties in the north of 
Kosova.  

MR. SERWER:  I think it’s quite clear, Mr. Engel, that KFOR is close if not 
beyond the limits of its capabilities in handling this situation in the north 
right now.  It appears that the situation south of the Ibar, as well, was not 
well-handled over the weekend by the Kosovo police service.  There are now 
investigations that will be launched of the excessive use of force in that 
situation.  People use excessive force when they’re not well-trained and when 
they’re not well-equipped and when they’re not – when they don’t have adequate 
capability.  

We are at the very limits of what KFOR can be reasonably expected to do.  It 
should not be drawn down any further.  It needs to stay, if not be strengthened 
a bit.  And we need to work very hard with the European Union – this is I know 
what our diplomats are doing – to resolve the question of the north.  I believe 
it can be resolved within the context of the Ahtisaari Plan, with any further 
clarifications of the Ahtisaari Plan that are needed codified into new 
implementation agreements.  The diplomatic effort has to be a strong and 
vigorous one.  I know that the State Department and European Union agree with 
that.  But until it’s over, we have to keep KFOR at least at its present 
strength.  Thanks.  

MS. GELAZIS:  In my testimony, I displayed a bit of disappointment that KFOR 
wasn’t needed, and that the drawdown for KFOR was halted because of the 
violence that we experienced – that we witnessed in the last few months.  I’m 
disappointed and I think a lot of European member states of NATO and the EU are 
disappointed as well because it seems to indicate a trade-off.  If we have KFOR 
there, there’s a trade-off to our perception of the country’s readiness to 
participate or to build institutions that can deal with conflict in a 
nonviolent way.  If the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo were going better – 
if it were more inclusive or if there were institutions on the ground – 
judicial institutions on the ground that could handle these differences, we 
wouldn’t need a military presence.  

And I think that’s the disappointment that I feel.  It’s too bad that we still 
need a KFOR there.  But hopefully, with continued KFOR troops, with continued 
engagement with both Serbia and with Kosovo, we can – we can see a day, you 
know, not too – not too far in the future when conflicts between ethnic groups 
can be resolved in other institutions.  

MR. VEJVODA:  Yeah, I can add that I think maintaining the level of KFOR 
presence at the current number is – I think, is desirable.  I think that the 
expected drawdown from 5,000 to 2,000 would have been possible had we not had 
the unwanted events that occurred in July.  And I would say, again, looking at 
the longer term, from 2000 onwards, that we have, in fact, progressed and the – 
in – if I can put it in European historical terms, the fact that Pristina and 
Belgrade have “sat down at a table,” if I can say so in quotations marks, only 
three years after the declaration of independence is great European speed, when 
you compare it to the Northern Irelands or other places where it took nine 
years after the Good Friday Agreement for a provisional government to be 
formed.  And if you remember well, Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness didn’t 
even shake hands after nine years.  

So I think that the Albanians and Serbs are doing quite well here, in these 
European terms.  And I think what we need to do and what the European Union is 
doing, with the backing of the United States, is to facilitate that dialogue 
and to try and move to the margins those who are impatient, on either side, to 
see something that is undesirable.  So I would say that the dialogue is 
extremely important, and that KFOR needs to be there to secure and see that 
this is moved forward.  KFOR has played an incredibly important role to remind 
us of the unfortunate March 2004 events, where it defended the Serbs against 
attempts to expel them.  It’s important in protecting the monasteries there.  

But also, I would say, the fact that, in past six months, President Tadi? has 
clearly indicated that partition is not a solution, that he and the Serbian 
government understand this and that they are seeking a solution within what are 
the recognized boundaries of Kosovo, even though Serbia clearly does not 
recognize the independence of Kosovo, are heartening signals.  His plan of four 
elements of such a solution that was positively remarked on by the British 
government just recently – the fact that the President Tadi? has also talked to 
other leaders, again, is a sign of the political will, I would say, of both 
sides.  

And the fact that we have avoided major violence, not to say that there hasn’t 
been violence, but that something that could have actually turned into 
something much bigger is, again, a demonstration of restraint of both sides and 
of KFOR itself and of EULEX – and positive because I think there’s been a 
realization that all the good work that has brought us to this point, after all 
these years, could have rolled back in one day.  And I think that awareness, 
given the European context, given the fact – and I would like to remind us that 
NATO in Bosnia, that came in with thousands of troops, and in Kosovo, KFOR, 
compared to in Iraq or in Afghanistan, has suffered next to no casualties or 
minimal.  And I would say, this mere fact of the positive acceptance of an 
interposition force that was asked for in Bosnia or EU for now in Bosnia or 
KFOR is an indication that these people and these societies want to move 
forward.  So KFOR, I think, is an integral element of that facilitation to move 
forward.  

REP. ENGEL:  Well, thank you.  I want to add that I think the sooner that the 
powers that be in Belgrade understand that partition is not a possibility, the 
sooner that we’ll have peace.  Ultimately, if all countries are in the EU, 
borders are not that significant.  And I hope that Mr. Tadi? – you know, many 
of us had high hopes for him when he first came in, and we’ve been disappointed 
that he hasn’t – I realize it’s a difficult position, but that – I think that 
the, in my estimation, the Serbian politicians ought to be talking truth to 
their people.  They do them a disservice by fudging the issue of Kosovo.  I 
think Kosova’s here to stay.  And I – many countries are recognizing them.  

And in fact, I just wanted to also mentioned that I helped to secure the 
release of James Berisha, who has been flying around in a plane to different 
countries to get them to recognize Kosova.  He was held in prison in Eritrea, 
and we’ve just gotten his release.  So I just hope that can be done.  

I have – I wanted to ask a Macedonia question, because I wanted to ask our 
panelists the assessment of the degree of which the Ohrid Agreement, which 
ended the 2001 conflict in Macedonia, is being implemented.  In your – in your 
opinion, has ethnic Albanians been integrated adequately into the government, 
military, and police?  Does this also benefit the integration of the Roma and 
other minorities or make their situation more challenging?  Are ethnic 
divisions – Ms. Gelazis, you referred to that – a reason to worry about 
Macedonia’s future development?  Do we think a Macedonian accession to NATO 
might help some progress in this regard?  

MS. GELAZIS:   I’d like to answer by tying this together with the visa 
liberalization reform that the EU instituted.  In a recent report, the 
commission noted that there were some irregularities in the visas that were 
given to – or the use of the visas in – from people coming from Macedonia and 
from Serbia.  And it was decided by the commission that the proper response 
would be to use this opportunity to make sure that vulnerable people in those 
countries are adequately protected, that they are integrated into their 
societies.  So that indicates, to me, that there is – they are not quite 
meeting the standard that the EU would like to have, that people who are in 
vulnerable groups in that region – in Macedonia feel compelled to seek redress 
from the – from outside of the country.  And I think that’s a problem.  

The European Union and the NATO countries have had a lot of experience with 
that.  And I think none of the European countries that are in the EU or NATO 
have completely homogeneous populations.  That’s the place to look for answers. 
 That’s the place to look for solutions that can accommodate minorities living 
in Macedonia.  And I think that through the integration process, the Belgrade 
Agreement will be implemented over time.  But I think we can’t ignore some 
problems that are coming up.  

MR. VEJVODA:  I think, as someone mentioned earlier, the very difficult 
decisions of the leaderships of the two communities in Macedonia – ethnic 
Macedonians and Albanians – after the 2001 conflict were extremely important as 
a signaling to a willingness to not only continue to live together, but to 
integrate more firmly – obviously easier said than done.  And over the years I 
think there’s been a significant accomplishment, especially in the fact that 
coalition governments since then have always had parties of both the majority 
and the minority ethnic group, and that places in the administration have been 
fulfilled by ethnic Albanians.  Surely more could have been done but, again, 
this is a process and one needs to give time time so this is fully 
accomplished.  Again, here the fact that Macedonia didn’t begin negotiations 
with the European Union, didn’t get membership, hasn’t been helpful to the 
implementation of that agreement. 

On the Roma, I think it’s a much broader issue.  The Roma are probably the most 
down-trodden minority throughout Europe.  This is also the case in countries 
who are members of the European Union further north, whether we’re talking 
about the Czech Republic, Slovakia – I mean Serbia, all of these countries have 
Roma minorities where much needs to be done.  Obviously in dire economic 
straits, they are the ones who then suffer most because there’s least 
possibilities for a variety of social programs and inclusion.

But again, I think each of these countries, and thus including Macedonia, is 
not only aware but realizes that the European Union and the U.S. are looking 
very carefully at exactly the treatment of that minority which is suffering the 
most.   And that’s why it’s important that we always remember and remind 
ourselves, as you did, Congressman Engle, of the Roma.  

REP. SMITH:  Dr. Serwer?

MR. SERWER:  Mr. Chairman, I was in Macedonia last summer, and I found an odd 
situation with respect to the Ohrid Agreement.  I don’t think it would be 
correct to say that it has been implemented in every one of its details.  There 
are shortcomings.  And those shortcomings affect the Albanian community a 
little bit more obviously than the Macedonian community.  Nevertheless, the 
Albanian community has enormous enthusiasm for the Ohrid Agreement, and the 
Macedonian community has significantly less enthusiasm for it.  They see it as 
taking something away from them.

That kind of negative nationalist reaction would be greatly amplified if 
Macedonia fails to make real progress towards NATO this year.  The Macedonians 
will feel a profound sense of disappointment and we’ve seen in the past how 
they react to that.  And then the ethnic Albanians react to the profound sense 
of disappointment of the Macedonians by augmenting their ethnic nationalism.   
We could head down a very negative spiral here.  

The Ohrid Agreement has been a terrific step forward for Macedonia.  It’s not 
100 percent implemented, but it points in the right direction, and that’s a 
direction we should keep Macedonia moving in.

REP. ENGEL:  Thank you.  Mr. Chairman, I have one last question, and it 
involves Albania.  And I thought Mr. Vejvoda hit the nail on the head when he 
said that Albania had the longest way to go given their history of 50 years of 
oppression under the Hoxha regime.  I was a big supporter of Albania being in 
NATO.  And I’m wondering if our panelists can comment on – do you think that 
Albania’s being in NATO – their NATO membership helped limit the political 
difficulties that we – that we saw there?

MR. VEJVODA:  Absolutely.  I think Dan Serwer mentioned that earlier, that we 
sometimes fail to do – ask the “if” question.  What if Albania had not been a 
member of NATO?  And I agree with him that probably we would have seen more 
adverse dynamics politically in Albania.  

The fact that it came within the NATO framework was extremely important to 
limit undesirable political developments.  And the fact that the military of 
Albania are part of NATO and their security services as well has been a 
positive limiting factor to that possible negative dynamics that sometimes 
politicians and political parties are prone to when they are confronted with 
difficult economic situations, such as this one.  

MS. GELAZIS:  I agree that NATO – being in NATO has a positive impact.  
Clearly, if NATO only accepts democracies and Albania is in NATO, then it has 
to be a democracy.  If the opposition in Albania – if NGOs are criticizing the 
government for being undemocratic, for not – for not holding open and fair 
elections, the Albanian government is forced to prove its democratic 
credentials.  And in that sense it is – it is helpful that it has to have that 
label.  

I think it also provides an opportunity for NATO and other member states within 
NATO to ask those questions to the Albanian leadership as well.  So being part 
of a community can have that positive impact – as long as we all take advantage 
of it.  

REP. ENGEL:  Dr. Serwer?

MR. SERWER:  I have nothing to add at this point.

REP. ENGEL:  OK.  I just – thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I think that – my opinion 
is that things are moving in the right direction in Albania.  And as a member 
of NATO, I think that’s been a very positive effect on the country.  Thank you, 
Mr. Chairman.

REP. SMITH:  Thank you very much, Mr. Engel.  

Let me just ask a few final questions.  First, you know, again, following that 
same line of reasoning that the NATO framework limits potentially negative 
outcomes and a negative future, as you just pointed out with Albania, what is a 
way forward for Bosnia?  I’m very concerned.  

You know, I’ve been working the Bosnia issue, if you will, for most of my time 
in Congress, especially during the war there.  We went there many times, held 
hearings, we heard from people, you know, including the man that did the 
translation when Milosevic and the Dutch peacekeepers met.  He was there.  He 
lost his entire family.

You know, I mean, for this Commission, the Balkans has been a very serious and 
almost a prime concern for years.  And I am concerned that an opportunity could 
evaporate or at least diminish with regards to Bosnia.  2006, the Partnership 
for Peace was offered.  2010 of April, NATO invited Bosnia to join the 
Membership Action Plan.  And we know that the one hindrance, according to 
Secretary General Rasmussen, is the issue of the military assets.  

And maybe you could offer some insights as to how that might be furthered, 
especially – and whether or not Republic of Srpska and all the different 
entities are really on the same page with regards to joining NATO, publicly as 
well as, more importantly, privately.  Do they really want this all?  And is 
there still a way forward?  If all of you could speak to that.

MR. VEJVODA:  Well, I had a chance, Mr. Chairman –

REP. SMITH:  Yes.

MR. VEJVODA:  -- to speak to the deputy foreign minister of Bosnia Herzegovina, 
Ms. Ana Triši?-Babi?, who is also the chairman of – or chairperson of their 
national coordination NATO council, recently at a conference in Berlin in 
December.  And she – and she is from Republic of Srpska.  She reassured me 
about the overall intention of the country, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and of the 
two entities, and thus of Republic of Srpska, to move forward because it was in 
the interest, along the lines that we have just been mentioning on Albania and 
Macedonia, that this would be a factor of stabilization overall of the polity 
of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  

Also, when the early mentions of NATO membership was there, it was endorsed 
also by Milorad Dodik from Republic of Srpska.   We know that in some 
subsequent declarations he has, you know, made his position more vague, but I 
go by someone from his political environment, Ms. Triši?, when she says this a 
month ago.  And I know that there’s a possibility that she remain the deputy 
foreign minister.  And if that’s anything to go by, I think we will see a 
development on this outstanding condition of the military property.  

Now, again, it’s easy for us to say.  We’ll see how the new government at the 
central level will go about this.  But if that visa process is anything to go 
by, if the formation of this government, as Nida rightly alluded to, based on 
rational decision making, in the interests of those politicians who are 
incumbents and have been elected, thus possibly this positive move towards the 
beginning of implementation of a Membership Action Plan can help them for their 
own particular political interests, let alone the public good, which would 
benefit from that.

REP. SMITH:  Thank you.

MS. GELAZIS:  I agree with Ivan.  I would also add that the international 
community’s work on – in Bosnia is, I hope, slowly cornering the leaders of 
this nation to sort of do the right thing and adopt institutions that are truly 
democratic, that will truly, you know, fit into Euro-Atlantic structures.  For 
instance, the European Court of Human Rights has had the ruling on the 
Sejdic-Finci case which deems that the constitution is in fact undemocratic, 
doesn’t follow human rights to the European standard.

And those – that decision, the Venice Commission assessment of the constitution 
and other chapters of the constitution, the EU accession process, the NATO 
accession process – all of these institutions and actors, and including the 
United States, ought to sort of continue to corner the leaders of this country, 
show where their interests are in line with making these – adopting these 
changes.  

And then engaging with civil society is an important factor as well, because I 
think you’ll get much more support for international efforts – for 
international efforts toward NATO accession to creating a government that 
respond to the interest of the citizens.  And that’s our – that should be our 
partner in this initiative – in this – in this challenge.  

MR. SMITH:  Thank you.  

Dr. Serwer?

MR. SERWER:  Mr. Chairman, I’m more pessimistic than my colleagues are.  I 
think that the Milorad Dodik has made very clear his intention not to allow the 
government in Sarajevo to have the kind of powers and authority that are 
required of a NATO and EU member.  He has talked about the possibility of 
independence.  He has made it absolutely clear that the courts of Republic of 
Srpska should not be in any way beholden to the courts of the country as a 
whole.  He has really put forward a program which is one of maximum autonomy, 
and that program is not consistent with NATO and EU membership.  Until we solve 
that problem – and that problem has to be solved, it seems to me, in revisions 
to the constitution – until we solve the basic political framework, I’m afraid 
that Bosnia is going to lag farther and farther behind everybody else.  Solving 
it is going to require a joint EU-U.S. effort, with the EU ready to use serious 
leverage in order to get what we need to get for EU and NATO membership.  Thank 
you.

REP. SMITH:  Are we doing that now, the U.S. and the European Union?  Are we 
using any serious leverage vis-à-vis Bosnia?

MR. SERWER:  The short answer is “no.”  I don’t think we’re using the kind of 
leverage that is needed to get real results.  And that’s a result of a very 
different attitude in Europe towards the use of leverage than there is in the 
United States.  You know, it’s very hard to borrow somebody else’s leverage, 
but that’s what’s really needed here.

REP. SMITH:  Let me ask you just a couple of – again, a couple of final 
questions.  In 2001, I asked the U.S. Department of Defense inspector general – 
his name was Joseph Schmitz at the time – to undertake a global assessment of 
the United States military’s complicity in human trafficking.

We had gotten reports – particularly out of South Korea – of U.S. service 
members abusing Russian, Moldovan, Philippine and other women who were at 
brothels, as well as indigenous South Koreans.  And this situation in the 
Balkans had manifested itself repeatedly, UN peacekeepers, UNMIK.  We held 
hearings; I chaired hearings where we talked about DynCorp and some of its 
police who were complicit in trafficking.

To make a long story short, the report that the IG put together was 
devastating.  In response, George Bush issued a zero-tolerance policy.  The 
next year I traveled to – first to Athens and then to Brussels and met with 
NATO leaders, top command leadership, and pushed a zero-tolerance policy.  Most 
were very open.

One particular admiral said:  What will my sailors do when they offload in 
Athens and want a good time?  And it was a – not only was that very, I think, 
foolish of him to say that; I had just been in two trafficking safe houses in 
Athens and had met a number of women who had been rescued.  And I asked him – 
invited him in very strong terms to go visit those shelters and see what it is 
that these individuals were doing to these women and exploiting them.

To make a long story short, as we all know, NATO does have a zero-tolerance 
policy, just like the United Nations.  But I’m wondering, you know – zero 
tolerance sounds good but what does it mean in actual training?  What does it 
mean in terms of integration into NATO?

And my question to all three of you:  Are the countries and their militaries 
being – is there an effort being made to comport and conform with a very high 
standard of zero tolerance for the exploitation, particularly of women and 
children, by way of human trafficking?  Is that actually happening with this 
process?

MR. VEJVODA:  I think that, again, here NATO and the EU have very strict 
requirements for the visa liberalization road map.  This was one of the 
requirements that a number of action plans not only be voted in, but that there 
was implementation.  This is concurrent, I would say, within the larger 
framework of fighting organized crime.

And again, without painting a rosy picture, the level of coordination between, 
for example, the countries of the region and their police forces, and, for 
example, the DEA here on drug abuse, or the British serious organized crime 
unit – has produced a number of results over the past two years, with important 
capture not only of drugs but also of the criminals who are engaged in this.

And this of course is applied also to human trafficking and to women in 
particular.  And I know – and this is simply by following the news from the 
region – that every now and then you do read about arrests of people who have 
been engaged in all of these countries.  And I think it’s obvious to say but 
needs to be repeated:  This can only be tackled at a transborder, regional 
level with international institutions involved.  Whichever they are, in their – 
this is not something that a country by itself – a Montenegro or a Serbia or a 
Kosovo – can deal with itself.

REP. SMITH:  Thank you.

MS. GELAZIS:  I commend you for your efforts on this very important issue.  I 
think that it’s one thing to have a country adopt a resolution, to have a 
military, you know, add to its organization issues that protect vulnerable 
people.  But it’s a very, very different thing that we make sure people 
implement these, and that these rules are being used.

In that regard, we need to make sure that there is adequate judicial reform, 
that institutions in these countries offer victims remedies when these rules 
get violated, which inevitably they do.  In that sense we should continue our 
focus on EU accession, which is hoping to push the negotiations on judicial 
reform up in all of the – all of the future invitations for EU accession, so 
that there’s a longer timespan to view and witness and to experience what the – 
what the judiciary is doing in each of these member states.  I think that’s a 
vital element of any human rights policy, to make sure that the institutions 
that provide remedies for victims are there and are used well.

REP. SMITH:  Thank you.

MR. SERWER:  Mr. Chairman, you asked a very specific question, whether zero 
tolerance is being implemented adequately in these countries.  And I confess 
that I don’t know the answer to that question.  So your asking it will prompt 
me to be asking it, and I think that’s a good thing, and I hope you continue 
asking it.  I thank you for the question.

REP. SMITH:  Well thank you, and I look forward to your response to it as soon 
as you get some information, because it seems to me it’s a matter of 
prioritization.  If I have tried and failed – as a matter of fact, even when we 
did the reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, we had a 
section that would have established an Assistant-Secretary-level person at the 
Department of Defense to work trafficking, and have a real core of people to 
work military-to-military, as well as within our own military, to try to 
mitigate and hopefully end this barbaric activity known as human trafficking.  
And we failed.

I have a bill pending right now that would do it again, because it seems to me, 
military-to-military and, you know, that the generals and the colonels and 
everybody else – the whole chain of command – will be much more apt to listen 
when those best practices are shared among themselves rather than a lawmaker or 
politician bringing it.

And again, I’ll never forget that meeting at NATO headquarters when, in a very 
dismissive tone, some of the female officers were absolutely angered by this 
man saying this.  I was amazed that he had the imprudence to say what he was 
thinking, but he did.  But it showed a level of contempt for the sacredness of 
those women’s lives, that they were just seen as someone – people that could be 
exploited by his sailors.

Let me just ask you, my friend, a final question – and anything else you would 
like to, any of you, add as we go to closure.  Slavko ?uruvija, the great 
journalist who sat right where both of you sit in the 1990s and testified, in 
the opening days of the bombing campaign by the U.S. and by NATO he was gunned 
down by Miloševi?’s henchmen – at least we believe that.  I know you follow 
Serbia very, very closely.  Has anybody been brought forward to trial, or may 
be brought to trial yet, with regards to his assassination?

MR. VEJVODA:  Thank you for asking that question, Mr. Chairman.  I had the 
honor of knowing Mr. Slavko ?uruvija very well, and, in fact, I was then 
working for the Open Society Institute when he went and embarked on the 
independent newspaper.  And we supported him financially at that moment.  I was 
in Belgrade also during the bombing – not a pleasant moment to be there, with 
my family.  And I was there and went to the scene where he was assassinated.  
So it’s a very tragic story.

The unfortunate answer to your question is that no one has been brought to 
justice, although we practically know the story inside out.  It has been leaked 
from the police, from security sources, of who the possible assassins were.  It 
is alleged with great certainty that this was ordered from the tops of the 
regime by Miloševi? and his wife, as a kind of revenge for the fact that 
?uruvija, who was close to them, then departed from them and embarked on a – on 
a more liberal, democratic approach to his newspaper.

I am sorry to say that I do not understand why this is the case, it is – if 
everything is more or less known, and the former partner of Mr. ?uruvija, who 
lives in Belgrade today, has been alerted to these facts.  I’m at a loss to 
answer this question, and I’ll be as happy as you to find out when – apparently 
the exact assassin has himself been assassined (ph), but it is very important 
that this get closure through due process in a trial in Belgrade.

REP. SMITH:  I appreciate that so very much.  Would any of you like to conclude 
or make any final comments before we conclude?

MR. VEJVODA:  I would just like to add an obvious addition to your former 
question, and that is that the role of civil society, NGOs, women’s 
organizations, is extremely important in this combating of human trafficking – 
women and children in particular.  And I know from a number of examples in the 
countries of the region that their cooperation with the police has been 
improving over the past 10 years – because, again, the coordination there is 
very important for sources of information for tracking individual women and 
others as a way to reach those who are actually organizing this despicable 
activity.

REP. SMITH:  Well said.

MR. SERWER:  Mr. Chairman, maybe I can just add that, since I sat at that table 
with Slavko ?uruvija at the time of that testimony, I think the failure to 
resolve that particular case is part of a broader failure of institutional 
reform in the secret services in Serbia.  I think that reform has progressed 
much more in the military than it has in some of the shadowy-er services.  And 
I’m here in Belgrade today for a conference on dealing with the past, and I 
will raise that question about ?uruvija at that conference and try to press the 
issue.  Thank you.

REP. SMITH:  Thank you so very much.  And again, as on the other question, if 
you find anything, please let us know, because this Commission has had two 
witnesses over the years killed after testimony, one from Northern Ireland and 
one from Belgrade.  And, I know all of us, staff and members, feel a great 
sense of concern, whether or not we actually put any further spotlight on that 
individual that led to their killing.  So we, too, want closure, and for the 
person or persons who have committed these crimes to be held to account.

So thank you so much, all of you, for your exemplary work on behalf of human 
rights and democracy and the rule of law, and for sharing those insights with 
us today.  The hearing is adjourned.

(END)