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

20-10-2017

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 has 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 from the series, also published in March.

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 has 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 from the series, also published in March.