‘The people of Kosovo – both the cleansed Albanians and the demagogically exploited Serbs – now know who their political and humanitarian friends were. One of the most outstanding European and parliamentary advocates has been Dr Denis MacShane. This will surprise none who know of his record on human rights. The book will stand as a monument to a harsh time and to the fortitude that overcame it.’
Before NATO’s involvement in 1999, when Slobodan Milošević became a household name, few people in Western Europe had heard of Kosovo, or would have been able to point to it on a map. Now tens years after his arrest, and with the recent detainment of Ratko Mladić, Denis MacShane has written a vivid and forceful polemic exploring how this small region of of the Balkans has been left politically half-formed by the heavyweights of Europe and the wider world.
Though 80 countries now recognise Kosovo’s sovereignty, officially it is still not a full independent nation. The people of Kosovo today are caught in a constant state of transition and urgently require outside powers to re-engage with their longstanding divisions before it is too late. Drawing on his experience as an MP and Minister involved in the Balkans for more than a decade, MacShane outlines how the Western Balkans are a symbol of Europe’s weakness to transform one of its key regions. The choice is now stark: either the Balkans become Europeanised or Europe becomes Balkanised.
DENIS MACSHANE was MP for Rotherham between 1994 and 2012. Between 2001 – 2005 he was Balkans Minister and later, from 2002 until 2005, Minister for Europe. He is the author of Globalising Hatred: The New Antisemitism (2009), Brexit: How Britain will Leave Europe (2015) and Heath (2006) in the series The 20 Prime Ministers of the 20th Century.
Follow Denis on Twitter @DenisMacShane