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Western Balkans

This tag is associated with 26 posts

The Western Balkans and the EU [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski, European Union heads of state and government reiterated support for the European perspective of the Western Balkans at their meeting on 9 March, and underlined that the situation in the region was fragile due to internal and external challenges. Despite relatively good economic growth prospects, the Western Balkans’ reform progress has … Continue reading

Outcome of European Council meeting of 9 March 2017 and of informal meeting of the EU27 of 10 March 2017

Written by Suzana Anghel and Ralf Drachenberg, After re-electing Donald Tusk as its President, the European Council meeting of 9 March 2017 discussed the economic situation in Europe, progress on measures regarding migration, internal and external security, and external relations. In his first speech to the European Council, the recently- elected President of the European … Continue reading

Outlook for the 9 March 2017 European Council, and the Informal meeting of the 27 Heads of State or Government on 10 March 2017

Written by Susanna Tenhunen and Ralf Drachenberg, At their 9-10 March 2017 meeting, EU leaders will focus on the economic situation in Europe, including the economic and social priorities of the 2017 European Semester, trade policy and delivery of the different single market strategies. The European Council will also discuss migration, security and defence, and … Continue reading

2016 Enlargement package: Prospects for the Western Balkans

Written by Velina Lilyanova, In November 2016, the European Commission presented its annual enlargement package, consisting of a communication that takes stock of the implementation of the 2015 multiannual strategy and a set of reports on the Western Balkan countries and on Turkey in their capacity of candidates or potential candidates for EU membership. Since 2015, … Continue reading

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

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.’ Continue reading

The Western Balkans and the EU: Enlargement and challenges

The challenges ahead of the EU and the current candidate, and potential candidate, countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia – are multiple and, to some extent, different compared to the past. First, the EU itself is in a different situation. In 2014, the European Commission’s newly elected president announced a five-year halt to enlargement. In June 2016, the UK voted to leave the EU, an event unprecedented in Union history. Continue reading

The Western Balkans’ Berlin process: A new impulse for regional cooperation

Written by Velina Lilyanova, The six Western Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia – are united by the common goal of joining the EU. However, they still face divisions, both infrastructural and political, and are confronted, among other things, by a dire economic situation … Continue reading

The Western Balkans: Frontline of the migrant crisis

Written by Velina Lilyanova 2015 was a landmark year in the history of migration to Europe, with an unprecedented and constantly increasing flow of migrants making their way to the European Union. Fleeing poverty and war mainly in the Middle East and Africa, more and more people embarked on perilous journeys to reach the safety … Continue reading

Corruption — still a major problem in several Western Balkan countries

Written by Velina Lilyanova The United Nations’ 2003 Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) starts by noting that corruption ‘undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life and allows organized crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish’. To a varying extent, all … Continue reading

Stažiranje kolegice iz Knjižnice Narodne skupštine

Milana Šteković, kolegica iz Knjižnice Narodne skupštine u Beogradu, boravila je u Bruxellesu u okviru “Pretpristupnog programa stažiranja za zaposlene u parlamentima zemalja Zapadnog Balkana“, koji je pokrenut 2012. godine. S obzirom na to da u Narodnoj skupštini radi kao istraživač u Knjižnici, upravo je Knjižnica Europskog parlamenta bila služba domaćin tijekom njenog posjeta. Bila … Continue reading

In focus week on the Western Balkans

The last three plenary sessions of the European Parliament (EP) featured one recurring policy issue: EU enlargement, reason enough to focus this week on the countries of the Western Balkans, and their varying progress towards EU membership. Assessing the progress of countries waiting in the queue to join is carried out in an annual exercise by the … Continue reading

Sarajevo process : the 1992-95 war refugee problem in the Western Balkans

The Sarajevo Process takes its name from the Sarajevo Declaration adopted in January 2005 at a Regional Ministerial Conference on Refugee Returns (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro. It was further supported by the Belgrade Declaration, adopted at the Migration, Asylum and Refugees Regional Initiative (MARRI) Regional Forum, on 7 April 2006. The participating states committed to find a solution for the remaining … Continue reading

Bosnia & Herzegovina: continuing standstill

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) made very limited progress towards EU membership in 2013. The lack of measures to address discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, and thus implement the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights is preventing BiH from moving closer to the EU. Background BiH was recognised as a potential candidate country … Continue reading

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: still awaiting the green light for enlargement talks

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia obtained the status of candidate country in December 2005. The European Commission’s annual progress reports since 2009 have consistently recommended the opening of negotiations. However, the name issue still appears the main stumbling block. The dispute arose in 1991, when the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia seceded from Yugoslavia … Continue reading

Bosnia 2013 Census

The 2013 census in BiH did not start off well. The Bosnian political parties could not agree for many years whether to call for the census or not. The main issue was the return of refugees to pre-war homes, as foreseen by Annex 7 of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords. The 2013 Census An important issue was how languages … Continue reading

Serbia: accession negotiations set to start

In its latest progress report on Serbia, the European Commission maintained its April 2013 recommendation that membership negotiations be opened. With the framework for accession talks endorsed by the December European Council, negotiations are expected to start with an intergovernmental conference on 21 January 2014. Background In March 2012, the European Council agreed to grant … Continue reading

Kosovo’s European integration prospects

By agreeing with Serbia on ways to normalise relations, a key demand of the EU, Kosovo took a major step on the path towards the EU in 2013. Kosovo has started negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU, with conclusion expected in spring 2014. Improved relations with Serbia On 19 April … Continue reading

Republika Srpska

Republika Srpska  The Dayton Peace Agreement modified the structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It created two entities – the Federation of BiH  (51% of the territory, predominantly inhabited by Bosniaks, but also by Bosnian Croats) and the Republika Srpska (49% of the territory, with a majority of Bosnian Serbs) – as well as the Brcko District, which is a self-governing unit under the jurisdiction of … Continue reading

Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnian Croats, the smallest of the country’s three main communities, complain of a lack of political power. Many left Bosnia during the war and a majority settled in Croatia. In what is now Republika Srpska,  only 5-10% are thought to have returned. Several estimates have been made, that range from 434 000 to 570 000, significantly less than in 1991 census when there were 760 000. In October 2013, … Continue reading

Growing up under siege: “War Childhood” by Jasminko Halilović

By MEP Doris Gisela Pack (DE/EPP) What was it like to grow up in a Sarajevo under siege? Now that we are some years on from the terrible events of the early nineties, I thought it was time for some reflection. In cooperation with Mr Dino Elezović of the Sarajevo Canton – Regional Representation in … Continue reading

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