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

26-09-2016

The European Union has given countries of the Western Balkans the perspective of membership and offers financial and political incentives for reform. From the region, only Croatia has so far joined the EU, in 2013. Montenegro, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania are official candidate countries. Entry negotiations have started with Montenegro and Serbia, in 2012 and 2015 respectively. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are potential candidate countries. The European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, has said he does not expect any country to join the EU during his term in office, which ends in 2019, as many analysts and politicians believe the Union must overcome its internal problems before expanding further. The EU also wants to give the countries time for progress in their reforms, related to the 1993 'Copenhagen' membership criteria, which would make their political and economic systems compatible with EU standards. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports on the topic from major international think tanks on EU links with the Western Balkans, and the political and economic situation of the countries in the region. More publications on EU enlargement can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking.'

The European Union has given countries of the Western Balkans the perspective of membership and offers financial and political incentives for reform. From the region, only Croatia has so far joined the EU, in 2013. Montenegro, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania are official candidate countries. Entry negotiations have started with Montenegro and Serbia, in 2012 and 2015 respectively. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are potential candidate countries. The European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, has said he does not expect any country to join the EU during his term in office, which ends in 2019, as many analysts and politicians believe the Union must overcome its internal problems before expanding further. The EU also wants to give the countries time for progress in their reforms, related to the 1993 'Copenhagen' membership criteria, which would make their political and economic systems compatible with EU standards. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports on the topic from major international think tanks on EU links with the Western Balkans, and the political and economic situation of the countries in the region. More publications on EU enlargement can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking.'