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The ICC Debate and the EU-U.S. Struggle for Influence: The Case of the Balkan-6. ACES Working Paper No. 11, October 2007

Mema, Medlir (2007) The ICC Debate and the EU-U.S. Struggle for Influence: The Case of the Balkan-6. ACES Working Paper No. 11, October 2007. [Working Paper]

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    The objectives of the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) for the countries of the Balkan region are generally assumed to be complementary. They both stress and condition their support and assistance on the progress that these countries make with regards to economic modernization, build-up of social institutions, and respect for international law. However, this rhetoric doesn't always match the facts on the ground. Often, instead of dealing with a cohesive set of policy recommendations, the countries in the region are faced with contradictory alternatives and zero-sum choices. The debate over the development of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was such a case. It centered on whether the countries in the region should exempt US personnel from the jurisdiction of the Court while in the country and thus rendering them immune from prosecution for any crimes committed for which the US courts were not willing or able to take any action. The final outcome was mixed. Three of the countries - Croatia, Serbia (and Montenegro), and Slovenia - decided not to give in to US pressure, while the remaining three - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia - ignored the pleas and threats of the EU and of the various international non-governmental organizations and decided to sign Bilateral Immunity Agreements (BIAs) with the US. How can one explain such divergent outcomes? I argue that the credibility of actors involved played an important role in determining whether threats coming from the US or the EU were more credible, thus tipping the scales in favor of signing BIAs with the US. However, the issue of threat credibility serves only to narrow down the choices of actors. Further determination of the outcome necessitates a look at the nature of the security context in which these countries exist and operate.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Uncontrolled Keywords: International Criminal Court (ICC).
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-US
    EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-South-Eastern Europe (Balkans)
    EU policies and themes > External relations > human rights & democracy initiatives
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > American Consortium on European Union Studies > ACES Working Papers
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2015 17:24
    Number of Pages: 27
    Last Modified: 07 Jan 2015 17:24

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