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In February 2020, the European Commission launched the initiative “Enhancing the accession process – a credible EU perspective for the Western Balkans”, with the aim to push forward the EU accession of the Western Balkans, thereby making the process more credible, realistic, dynamic and predictable.

The new methodology envisages two main modalities: 1) accelerated integration and “phasing-in” to individual EU policies, the EU market and EU programs; and 2) increased funding and investments. This is the fundament of the new Growth plan for the Western Balkans, presented by the President of the European Commission, Ms. Ursula von der Leyen at the recent GLOBSEC 2023 Bratislava Forum.

The analysis recommends that the Western Balkan governments should create a demand for inclusion in specific policy areas, programmes and agencies individually, based on their national priorities and interests, as well as jointly, based on the interest of the entire region, in order to push the accession agenda forward.

This work is authored by Dusko Lopandic, Vice President of European Movement in Serbia, together with Andi Balla and Zoran Nechev, and backed by Western Balkans Fund.

The analysis was conducted within the project ,,Advancing regional cooperation and EU integration through the Think Balkan’s initiative”, led by Institute for Democracy Societas Civilis – Skopje and financially supported by the European Union.