The Arbitration Commission of the Conference on Yugoslavia provided the basis
of the post-Cold War territorial settlements in Europe. These included democratization
criteria for the recognition of the new states in central Europe and a
new territorial concept that allowed the internal borders of federated states to
serve as international borders. In the process, the commission endorsed cultural
nationalism within fixed borders and encouraged a significant degree of political
self-determination. The commissioners also supported identity nationalism as a
genuine aspiration, giving rise to ‘an interesting direction of thought’ concerning
the interpretation and meaning of the self-determination of peoples, and these
provoked an enhanced understanding and protection of the rights of minorities.
This was to provide a basis for the legitimacy claims not only of Bosnian Serbs
and Kosovars, but also of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Crimea.