Member state building and the Helsinki moment

13 January 2005

For South Eastern Europe, 2004 ended with a bang. The European Council in December took decisions that will have a huge impact on the future of Europe: to begin membership negotiations with Turkey and Croatia in 2005, and to prepare to accept Bulgaria and Romania as full members in 2007. These decisions make it possible to imagine a very different map of Europe in 2015.

This will further increase the importance of developments in Turkey for all of Europe. We are therefore extremely glad to be able to offer our readers the benefits of a partnership between the Turkish Policy Quarterly (TPQ) journal and ESI: from now on, some of the most interesting articles from the TPQ on Turkish economics, politics and security issues will also be available on our website. For any questions, please contact Nigar Göksel, ESI analyst and editor of the journal.

In the coming period, ESI's agenda will focus on analysing the policy implications for the region, and on the wider lessons for state building and development:

  • In an article appearing in this week's Journal of Democracy (The "Helsinki Moment" in Southeastern Europe), ESI analysts Gerald Knaus and Marcus Cox argue for EU member state building to be extended to the Western Balkans. They underline that offering European pre-accession support for institution building and development, which is offered at this moment to EU candidates Romania and Bulgaria, would be less costly than maintaining the large civilian post-conflict missions that exist there (OHR, OSCE, EU Police Missions). It would, however, require a serious restructuring of the international presence.
  • In Washington today, Gerald will speak on the same topic of post-conflict state building and democratisation on a panel with Larry Diamond and Francis Fukuyama on the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of the Journal of Democracy.
  • Next week a seminar series begins at Oxford University , organised by ESI senior fellow Minna Järvenpää, Felix Martin and Dominik Zaum on State-Building: Governance and Development under International Administrations. It will bring together experiences from the Balkans and from elsewhere on state building, international protectorates and economic developments. Speakers will include Andy Bearpark and Chris Patten.
  • In early February, ESI has been invited by former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari and the president of the Open Society Institute, George Soros, to present its analysis and recommendations at a highlevel seminar for EU policy makers in Brussels.

In addition to our work on EU policy and state building, we are continuing our field research in the Southern Balkans and in Central Anatolia, as well as our capacity building with young think-tanks in the region.

Best wishes for 2005,

Your ESI Team


Member state building and the Helsinki moment

The December 2004 EU Council vindicated the boldness shown by European leaders at the Helsinki summit in December 1999. Five years ago in Helsinki, EU leaders stated that "there are now 13 countries within a single framework of the accession process to the European Union

Gerald Knaus