Part of the preparations for the summit was the ‘reflection forum’ in Trieste on June 26-27, which gathered representatives of international organisations, media and NGOs from Europe and the Balkans. They underlined the risks of further destabilisation in the Balkans, with Bosnia-Hercegovina (BiH) in particular entering deeper into a political crisis characterised by personal animosities and mistrust among all key politicians.
- Whether the Balkans destabilises further or stabilises depends on EU and US ability and desire to engage more concretely and resolutely.
- The gradual fading of EU enlargement has fuelled regional tensions and enabled other influences to grow.
- Russia could play spoiler by using its influence among Serbs in BiH, Serbia and Montenegro to destabilise the Balkans.
- Turkey's worsening relations with the EU, United States and NATO and its rapprochement with Russia could create regional tensions.