The removal of the “strong man” in Belgrade – Slobodan Milosevic – opens the way for new opportunities and new risks on the Balkans. In the course of the last thirteen years Mr. Milosevic presided over the radical revival of the Serb nationalism, claiming the formation of a “Greater Serbia”, replacing the second Yugoslav federation after the end of the Cold War in Europe. The nationalist revival in Belgrade has geared up parallel nationalist upheavals in most other parts of what has been former Yugoslavia. The notorious memorandum of the Serb Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU) in 1986, the adoption of new constitutional amendments in Serbia in 1990, depriving Kosovo and Vojvodina of their status of autonomy, are among the founding events for the return of radical nationalism in the Yugoslav federation. Frightened by the rising great Serbian nationalism, the other constituent republics of SFRY generated a process of public mobilization around the cause of a looser federation – confederation, and - lately – for separation and independence.
Trade and growth potential depends on the development prospects of the major markets: in the 1990’s an average of more than 70% of the exports is previous import. Bulgaria, similarly to other Balkan countries, depends critically on international trade. Presumably, the growth prospects of EU and other major partners would be contributing to growth prospects of both Bulgaria and the Balkans.