“I spent last week visiting two allegedly dysfunctional states in the Balkans: Macedonia and Kosovo. Rumors of their incapacity or even demise are exaggerated. I visited with government officials, parliamentarians, NGOers, journalists, and old friends. I saw their presidents and prime ministers, but not their foreign ministers, as both were traveling. Despite their real problems, both states are functional and have made enormous progress over the past twenty years.

I started in Macedonia, which is saddled with two current issues: a law on language that the President refuses to sign and a dispute concerning its name with Greece.

Kosovo has also been through a rough patch, with two issues that created disorder in both the streets and parliament: demarcation of the border with Montenegro and creation of an Association of Serb Municipalities (ASM).

The former verged on silly, since only a few hundred hectares were involved and the agreement had already been concluded as well as ratified in Montenegro before it became controversial in Kosovo. It is now solved and the waters have calmed.” (Full post at Peacefare)