Europeanization of the Western Balkans (WB) is shadowed by multiple factors on both side – EU and WB states. EU internal challenges (economic crisis, migrant crisis, rising of euroscepticism, etc.) have omitted the Enlargement from Brussels’ agenda for a while. On the other hand, the lack of political will, irresponsibility of WB political elites and misusing the current EU challenges (by certain decision makers) influenced delay in WB internal reforms and democratic backsliding. After Mr. Junker’s announcement in the State of the Union regarding EU Enlargement in the next decade the new opportunity of window has arisen. However, both the EU enlargement process and Europeanization of WB seeks for improvement of already existed European integration instruments, such as Stabilization and Association Agreements – SAA and CEFTA2006 agreements, and re-launching positive EU Enlargement narrative.
Overall goal is to contribute to the European integration perspectives of the WB through fostering instruments for more effective Enlargement of the EU.
1. To deliver methodologically solid evidence of the effects of SAA and CEFTA2006 on WB countries within the EU enlargement process;
2. To enable greater use of SAA/CEFTA potential in WB countries based on concrete recommendations related to unexploited mechanisms they provide;
3. To open policy dialogue on concrete EU integration scenarios for WB countries among policy and opinion makers in the WB states and at EU level.
The objectives will be achieved through policy research and advocacy activities.
Developed policy recommendations for the SAA/CEFTA2006 improvements and policy paper with three scenarios for the Enlargement of the EU to the WB will be discussed with policy and opinion makers in six public events in WB capitals, while closed meetings with EU policy makers will be organized in the Brussels and Berlin.
Project duration: October 2017 – January 2019.
Project partners: Albanian Institute for International Studies (Albania), Foreign Policy Initiative BH (B&H), European Policy Institute – Skopje (FYRM), Riinvest Institute (Kosovo), European Movement in Montenegro (Montenegro).
The project is funded by German Ministry for Foreign Affairs (46.000 EUR) and Foundation Open Society Institute (35.980 USD).