Photo: Mike McHolm (Flickr)
In 1991, former Bloomington mayor and then-U.S. representative Frank McCloskey visited the Croatian village of Voćin only hours after Serb forces carried out a massacre.
The grisly scenes he witnessed inspired him to become an outspoken voice in ending the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. McCloskey was one of the first observers to describe events in Croatia and later Bosnia as genocide, and he continued to play a role in the region even after losing his reelection bid in 1995.
McCloskey’s efforts helped lay the groundwork for the 1995 Dayton Agreement that ended the conflict.
Today, both Croatia and Serbia are potential candidates to join the European Union.
Croatia is likely to become a member in 2013, following a favorable recommendation from the European Commission to grant the country membership.
Serbia has passed an important hurdle on the way to membership by apprehending three war crimes suspects, which the EU had demanded before formal talks could begin. Radovan Karadzic, former president of the self-declared Republic of Srpska, was detained in 2008. Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb military commander accused of carrying out the infamous Srebrenica massacre, was arrested in May 2011. Finally, former Croation Serb general Goran Hadzic was arrested in July 2011.
Still, Serbia likely has a long road before it on the way to EU membership, especially given enlargement fatigue among many existing members.
This episode of One State One World is produced in partnership with the EU Center at Indiana University.
Read more about the European Union on the EU Center’s blog, Across the Pond.