The collective European effort to clamp a peaceful framework on the Yugoslav dilemma has conspicuously failed, so far, to solve the crisis. It is a success in preventing unilateral interventions at cross purposes that would make matters worse.
Yugoslavia's trauma is Europe's anguish. Europeans dread Yugoslavia's inability to wall in its internal problems. So a bewildering array of European agencies is being put to the test, some in roles for which they were not designed, others in matters of import for which they have never been trusted. The 35-member Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) could never have a single approach. But it is being driven by the Western European powers as the right vehicle for agreements and arrangements. At a CSCE committee meeting, the warring republics of Yugoslavia agreed to a cease-fire process, which they have so far failed to implement.
The European Community (EC) of 12 Western countries is the real power bloc in an economic sense, but has never before mounted a real foreign policy. The EC tried to mediate an intra-Yugoslav agreement, failed and blamed Serbia. Now it will try again. Hans van den Broek, Dutch foreign minister and current EC president, warned that Serbia would be treated as an outlaw state if it alters Yugoslavia's internal borders by force. That is a precedent at which some members must cringe.