The Balkan Pact was a treaty signed by Greece, Turkey, Romania and Yugoslavia on February 9, 1934 in Athens, aimed at maintaining the geopolitical status quo in the region following World War I. The signatories agreed to suspend all disputed territorial claims against each other and their immediate neighbors following the aftermath of the war.
The Balkans as a political unit began, perhaps, with the 'Balkan pact' of 1934. Its existence as a historical and cultural area in its own rights is, of course, much older.
The axis of the Balkan pact passes through France, inspiring power behind the Little Entente. Against the Balkan Pact the Venizelist party has conducted a most active struggle, which, it is hard not to believe, was inspired by Rome (Mussolini) and by England. That is why, as soon as the Venizelist insurrection broke out, Bulgaria (adversary of the Balkan Pact) on the one side, and Turkey (signatory of the Pact) on the other, mobilized troops on the Greek frontiers, while Italy, with France and England following suit, sent cruisers into the Ægean.
Fearing Italy but doubtful of France, Aleksandar made unsuccessful offers to Mussolini in the early 1930s and attempted to build a Balkan alliance. In 1934 Yugoslavia, Romania, Greece, and Turkey signed a limited mutual defense agreement, later known as the Balkan Pact. Bulgaria refused to abandon its claims to Macedonia and did not join the pact, but tensions eased between Belgrade and Sofia. Fearing a vengeful, stronger Germany, France sought rapprochement with Italy in 1934, pressuring Yugoslavia to do likewise. But Yugoslavia began to turn to Germany instead to offset the threat from Italy.
by autumn a Balkan bloc to preserve the neutrality and independence of that area became a major subject in European politics. Discussion covered, among other things, the possibilities of a pact among the Balkan States themselves without the interposition of a great power, a bloc supported by Italy or Russia or Turkey, and the rival claims of a Black Sea bloc (of Russia, Turkey, Rumania and Bulgaria) as against a counter-plan which might include Italy, Greece and Yugoslavia, as well as Rumania and Hungary. In all negotiations among the Balkan States themselves and between them and other states, there were affirmations of constant support and belief in both the value and the steadfastness of the Balkan Entente.
The Balkan Entente, created in 1934 by Rumania, Greece, Turkey and Yugoslavia, was formed to guarantee mutually the security of their frontiers and thus was directed largely against Bulgaria. It provided for common consultation and discussion in connection with any actual or proposed changes of Balkan frontiers or of political action among the four states, and was open to adherence by any Balkan country.
The much-celebrated 'Balkan Entente' quickly started to falter in the face of Balkan realities, for it became apparent that collective security was to succumb rapidly to individual and conflicting objectives. Different priorities therefore drove a wedge between the members of the alliance.
The admittedly weak, anti-revisionist Balkan Pact was a regional arrangement to defend the territorial status quo and to support efforts to outlaw war as a means of settling disputes. It was directed only against Balkan revisionism and was aimed primarily at Bulgaria and Italy.
In the autumn of 1933 […] Yugoslavia and Romania sounded out Turkey and Greece on the signing of a joint Balkan pact, which the Greek government appeared to favor. […] Without Bulgaria and with an irritated Italy, the proposed Balkan pact offered Greece less security […] and throated to involve the country in a war with a non-Balkan Great Power.
War between the members of the Balkan Pact would be prohibited; economic, social, cultural, and political cooperation would be encouraged.
No comprehensive security system has ever existed in the Balkans, The Balkan Pact, concluded by Yugoslavia, Romania, Greece and Turkey in 1934, was the closest thing to such a comprehensive Balkan regional security system. Although the Balkan Pact was established as a mechanism for mutual co-operation among the Balkan countries, it represented a political barrier under the patronage of France and Great Britain to the influence of Germany and Italy, and to countries within their zone of influence such as Bulgaria.
…the Balkan Pact, in sip that Bulgaria is not part of it, is a beautiful act that assures peace and stability on this side of the world.
The [Balkan] Pact had to take into consideration three questions: the problem of non-aggression, the problem of arbitration, and the problem of mutual assistance.