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International Relations, PUBLICATIONS

EU enlargement, Western Balkans and Turkey [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski,

European Flag on a Blue Sky

© alfexe / Fotolia

In his State of the Union speech in September 2017, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called for keeping a credible European Union membership perspective for Western Balkan countries, while ruling out the possibility of Turkey joining the EU in “the foreseeable future” due to violations to the rule of law and fundamental rights.

According to the Commission’s assessment, the forecasts for economic growth in the Western Balkans are good, although progress on reform has been slow, the rule of law has been weak, and corruption is persistent. From the Western Balkans, only Croatia joined the EU, in 2013. Accession talks continue with Montenegro and Serbia. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania are official candidates. Bosnia and Herzegovina formally applied for EU membership in 2016, and remains a potential candidate country, along with Kosovo.

Relations between Turkey, an official candidate country, and the EU have been strained for some time due to what many politicians and analysts perceive as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s increasingly autocratic style.

This note offers links to a series of recent studies and comments from major international think tanks and research institutes on EU enlargement, Western Balkans and Turkey. More reports on the EU enlargement process can be found in a previous edition of ‘What Think Tanks are thinking’ published in March 2017. More reports on Turkey are available in another edition of the series, also published in March.

Enlargement and Western Balkans

The obsolescence of the European Neighbourhood Policy
Centre for European Policy Studies, Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies, October 2017

Balkan enlargement and the politics of civic pressure: The case of the public administration reform sector
European Policy Centre, October 2017

What Europe can do for the Western Balkans
European Council on Foreign Relations, October 2017

EU enlargement: Door half open or door half shut?
Centre for European Reform, October 2017

Balkan Enlargement and the politics of civic pressure
European Policy Centre, Belgrade, October 2017

Possible date for EU accession and the years ahead
European Policy Centre, Belgrade, October 2017

Quality of the response of judiciary in BiH to corruption: Preliminary results
Analitika, October 2017

Serbia’s pursuit of interest in the EU
European Policy Centre, Belgrade, September 2017

The ‘Berlin Process‘ for the Western Balkans: Is it delivering?
Centre for European Policy Studies, July 2017

The Balkans, the Black Sea region and China
Clingendael, July 2017

The Western Balkans in the European Union: Perspectives of a region in Europe
Instituto Affari Internazionali, July 2017

Is the EU on the move again? The development of the CSDP and “multi-speed” EU
European Policy Centre, Belgrade, July 2017

Fostering resilience in the Western Balkans
European Union Institute for Security Studies, June 2017

Kosovo’s EU candidate status: A goal within reach?
European Policy Centre, June 2017

Towards a smart staff retention policy for the sustainable EU integration of Serbia
European Policy Centre, Belgrade, June 2017

EU Enlargement: A six percent target for the Western Balkans
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, June 2017

EU and the Western Balkans: Addressing together challenges and using opportunities
Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, June 2017

The Western Balkans in the European Union: Enlargement to what, accession to what?
Instituto Affari Internazionali, May 2017

What price do Serbia and Macedonia have to pay to save the EU?
Europeum, May 2017

Does the EU really care about the Western Balkans?
Carnegie Europe, May 2017

The Macedonian crisis: A failure of EU conflict management?
Centre for European Policy Studies, May 2017

The six countries of the Western Balkans need the EU’s full attention
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik, March 2017

Balkan Barometer 2017. Business Opinion Survey,
Regional Cooperation Council, October 2017

Political Trends & Dynamics: Emerging Leadership in Southeast Europe
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, September 2017

The Crisis of Democracy in the Western Balkans: Authoritarianism and EU stabilitocracy
BiEPAG, March 2017


Turkey and the EU: No end to the drift
Centre for European Reform, October 2017

The EU should not turn its back on Turkey
European Policy Centre, October 2017

Turkey’s relations with Germany and the EU: Breaking the vicious circle
European Policy Centre, October 2017

Is Turkey Weakening NATO?
Carnegie Europe, September 2017

Turkey and EU at a crossroads: How to fix a wrecked relationship
Heinrich Böll Stiftung, July 2017

Turkey and the EU: Perpetual crisis or restricted cooperation?
German Marshall Fund, June 2017

Four steps to an EU-Turkey reset
Carnegie Europe, June 2017

European Union-Turkey: From an illusory membership to a “privileged partnership”
Fondation Robert Schuman, June 2017

Turkey, the EU and the Mediterranean: Perceptions, policies and prospects
Istituto Affari Internazionali, June 2017

Turkey’s evolving array of diplomatic challenges
Carnegie Europe, June 2017

The axiology of EU cultural diplomacy in Muslim majority countries: The paradox of Turkey
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Institute for European Studies, June 2017

The EU-Turkey refugee deal and the not quite closed Balkan route
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, June 2017

The “new Turkey” in the making: What should the EU’s strategy be?
Polish Institute of International Affairs, June 2017

The Turkish economy is struggling with political volatility
Chatham House, June 2017

“Hang them in Taksim”: Europe, Turkey and the future of the death penalty
European Stability Initiative, May 2017

The Chapter Illusion: For honesty and clarity in EU-Turkey relations
European Stability Initiative, May 2017

Why the EU should terminate accession negotiations with Turkey
Centre for European Policy Studies, April 2017

Turkish referendum: Erdogan home but not yet dry
European Council on Foreign Relations, April 2017

Making the EU-Turkey refugee deal work
Bruegel, April 2017

Turkey’s constitutional referendum: What you need to know
European Council on Foreign Relations, April 2017

Negotiating Brexit: The prospect of a UK-Turkey partnership
Carnegie Europe, March 2017

Energy and climate strategies, interests and priorities of the EU and Turkey
Istituto Affari Internazionali, March 2017

Read this briefing on ‘EU enlargement, Western Balkans and Turkey‘ on the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.



  1. Pingback: EU enlargement, Western Balkans and Turkey [What Think Tanks are thinking] | - October 20, 2017

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