Preventing recurrence: Policy alternatives for transitional justice in the Western Balkans
Dealing with the legacy of the past is still highly relevant in the Western Balkans today. Following the conflict in the 1990s, transitional justice efforts have so far failed to live up to the promise of ‘never again’.
In spite of the urgency to focus on prevention there is however currently no political will to do so in a determined and targeted manner. The political will for real action, that goes beyond financing projects or reiterating once again in summit outcome documents or regional strategies that transitional justice and reconciliation are important, is missing also by the EU and its member states.
But as we grapple with Covid-19 and changing geopolitical interests, we must ensure we also create space for dealing with the past in a way that prevents future conflicts and contributes to a better future. This we owe to the countless victims of the past and to the future generations to come.
Our new report Preventing recurrence: Policy alternatives for transitional justice in the Western Balkans aims to assist policymakers in widening the space for arguments around transitional justice, to give it direction by providing ideas for an alternative framework that links transitional justice to the prevention of recurrence of violence.
This framework includes different dimensions: the institutional level, the level of civil society and the cultural and individual sphere. To take a comprehensive response that integrates these different dimensions will, we believe, make a significant contribution in sparing future generations from excessive violence.
The report was produced by Impunity Watch and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN).