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The EU and Western Balkans [What Think Tanks are Thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski,

The European Union has given countries of the Western Balkans perspective of membership and offers financial and political incentives for reform. From the region, only Croatia so far joined the EU, in 2013. Montenegro, Serbia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania are official candidate countries. Entry negotiations started with Montenegro and Serbia, in 2012 and 2015, respectively. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are potential candidate countries.

The European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, has said he does not expect any country to join the EU during his term in office, which ends in 2019, as many analysts and politicians believe the Union must overcome its internal problems before expanding further. The EU also wants to give the countries time for progress in their reforms, related to the 1993 “Copenhagen” membership criteria, which would make their political and economic systems compatible with EU standards.

This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports on the topic from major international think tanks on EU links with Western Balkans and the political and economic situation of the countries in the region.  More publications on the EU enlargement can be found in a previous edition of ‘What Think Tanks are Thinking.’

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Is the EU turning a blind eye to the ‘new strongmen’ of the Balkans?
Centre for European Policy Studies, July 2016

The Western Balkans need a clear EU perspective
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik, July 2016

To be or not to be an EU member state: A question for the Balkan aspirants as well?
European Policy Centre, Brussels, July 2016

Losing the Western Balkans in Paris
Centre for South East European Studies, July 2016

Brexit or Not? What Consequences for the Enlargement Policy?
European Policy Centre, Belgrade, July 2016

The migrant crisis: A catalyst for EU enlargement?
Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group, June 2016

Elusive development in the Balkans: Research findings
Wiener Institut für Internationale Wirtschaftsvergleiche, June 2016

Backwardness, industrialisation and economic development in Europe: The developmental delay in Southeastern Europe and the impact of the European integration process since 1952
Wiener Institut für Internationale Wirtschaftsvergleiche, June 2016

A narrative explanation of breakpoints and convergence patterns in Yugoslavia and its successor states 1952-2015
Wiener Institut für Internationale Wirtschaftsvergleiche, June 2016

Neuer Islamismus und islamische Radikalisierung am Balkan: Aktuelle Entwicklungen und Gefahrenpotentiale
Österreichische Institut für Internationale Politik, June 2016

Serbia and the EU: A value-based EU still has its appeal
European Policy Centre, Belgrade, EUForum, June 2016

Les Balkans occidentaux, pierre de touche de la politique étrangère allemande et européenne
Institut français des relations internationales, May 2016

The agony of Macedonia: Where is the EU?
Centre for European Policy Studies, May 2016

PrEUgovor report on progress Serbia in chapters 23 and 24
Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, May 2016

At the gate of Europe: A report on refugees on the Western Balkan route
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Dialogue Southeast Europe, May 2016

Are the Western Balkans imploding?
Carnegie Europe, May 2016

The long march towards the EU: Candidates, neighbours and the prospects for enlargement
Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, April 2016

The Serbian media and the dialogue: Has there been an evolution in how Serbian media perceive Kosovo?
Group for Legal and Political Studies, April 2016

Kosovo: The limits of international post-conflict governance
Barcelona Centre for International Affairs, April 2016

The Western Balkans: Back in the EU spotlight
European Union Institute for Security Studies, March 2016

The EU and the Western Balkans: Do they share a future?
Barcelona Centre for International Affairs, March 2016

Return to instability: How migration and great power politics threaten the Western Balkans
European Council on Foreign Relations, March 2016

Balkan partnerships: Strengthening the region’s ties
Friends of Europe, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, March 2016

Paradoxes of stabilisation: Bosnia and Herzegovina from the perspective of central Europe
Centre for Eastern Studies, March 2016

Escaping the first circle of hell or the secret behind Bosnian reforms
European Stability Initiative, March 2016

EU enlargement to the Western Balkans: Out of sight, out of mind?
EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy, February 2016

Forever on the periphery? The return of geopolitics to EU enlargement to the Balkans
Polish Institute of International Affairs, February 2016

To serve and protect: A story about security sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Populari, February 2016

Western Balkans: Between geography and geopolitics
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Dialogue Southeast Europe, January 2016

Albania and Kosovo: In quest of a common future
Albanian Institute for International Studies, January 2016

The Western Balkans and its EU integration: 2015 comparative overview
Think for Europe Network, December 2015

The EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region one year later: The fatigues of the process
Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso, December 2015

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