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Peace and Security in 2018: An evaluation of EU peacebuilding in the Western Balkans

22-05-2018

This first thematic study of the Peace and Security series focuses on European Union (EU) peacebuilding efforts in the Western Balkans. The series will make an annual evaluation of EU performance in the field of peace and security in a specific geographical region. Examining EU engagement in the Western Balkans, the study assesses the extent to which the Union has been able to transform and strengthen the region's governance, economy and resilience. The study is organised around three key inter-connected ...

This first thematic study of the Peace and Security series focuses on European Union (EU) peacebuilding efforts in the Western Balkans. The series will make an annual evaluation of EU performance in the field of peace and security in a specific geographical region. Examining EU engagement in the Western Balkans, the study assesses the extent to which the Union has been able to transform and strengthen the region's governance, economy and resilience. The study is organised around three key inter-connected (and at times overlapping) phases in EU post-conflict peacebuilding − stabilisation, state-building and EU enlargement − to explain the strengths, weaknesses and limits of EU engagement. It ends with an assessment of the new EU strategy for the Western Balkans and analyses the potential to remedy past deficiencies and help move the region towards genuine, inclusive and sustainable peace. A parallel study, published separately, provides an overview of current EU action on peace and security and of the outlook for the future. The studies have been drafted with a view to their presentation at the Normandy World Peace Forum, in June 2018.

Western Balkans [What Think Tanks are thinking]

04-05-2018

The European Union’s planned enlargement into the Western Balkans has recently drawn increased attention. In February 2018, the European Commission released its new enlargement strategy, giving a credible accession perspective to the region. The latest impetus came last month, when the Commission proposed opening entry talks with Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Presenting the 2018 Communication on the EU enlargement policy to the European Parliament, Commission President Jean-Claude ...

The European Union’s planned enlargement into the Western Balkans has recently drawn increased attention. In February 2018, the European Commission released its new enlargement strategy, giving a credible accession perspective to the region. The latest impetus came last month, when the Commission proposed opening entry talks with Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Presenting the 2018 Communication on the EU enlargement policy to the European Parliament, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that the EU needed to eventually accept new members from the Western Balkans to avoid the risk of a new war in the region. Many EU Member States insist that before enlarging, the EU must implement internal reforms. Future members must meet many tough entry criteria. From the Western Balkans, only Croatia has so far joined the EU, in 2013. Accession talks continue with Montenegro and Serbia. Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are official membership candidates, while Bosnia and Herzegovina remains a potential candidate country, along with Kosovo. This note offers links to reports and commentaries from some major international think-tanks and research institutes on EU enlargement and Western Balkans. More reports on the topic can be found in a previous edition of ‘What Think Tanks are thinking’, published in October 2017.

FYR Macedonia: Economic indicators and trade with EU

02-05-2018

The first EU-Western Balkans Summit in a decade and a half takes place in Sofia in May 2018, under the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council. That is just one indicator of the EU's renewed engagement with the six countries of the region, with the Commission's February 2018 enlargement strategy reaffirming their perspective of joining the Union. This infographic, one of a series produced by EPRS in cooperation with Globalstat, offers an overview of the main economic and trade data – in particular on ...

The first EU-Western Balkans Summit in a decade and a half takes place in Sofia in May 2018, under the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council. That is just one indicator of the EU's renewed engagement with the six countries of the region, with the Commission's February 2018 enlargement strategy reaffirming their perspective of joining the Union. This infographic, one of a series produced by EPRS in cooperation with Globalstat, offers an overview of the main economic and trade data – in particular on trade with the EU – of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as information on EU grants and loans to the country.

Media freedom trends 2017: Western Balkans

03-05-2017

Media freedom, a core EU value and a cornerstone of democracy, is a priority reform area in the Western Balkans' EU accession agenda. Yet, despite a certain level of preparedness and a broadly developed legal framework, aspirant countries keep facing systemic shortcomings that require long-term sustained efforts. These efforts have stalled in recent years, resulting in a 'no progress' situation.

Media freedom, a core EU value and a cornerstone of democracy, is a priority reform area in the Western Balkans' EU accession agenda. Yet, despite a certain level of preparedness and a broadly developed legal framework, aspirant countries keep facing systemic shortcomings that require long-term sustained efforts. These efforts have stalled in recent years, resulting in a 'no progress' situation.

FYR Macedonia: 2016 report

30-03-2017

In April 2017, the European Parliament is due to debate a resolution on the European Commission's 2016 enlargement report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The report acknowledges that during a politically turbulent 2016, the country failed to progress in key EU-related reform areas and even backtracked in some. Following the December 2016 elections, political uncertainty remains and the EU is urging prompt formation of a new government, a process currently blocked.

In April 2017, the European Parliament is due to debate a resolution on the European Commission's 2016 enlargement report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The report acknowledges that during a politically turbulent 2016, the country failed to progress in key EU-related reform areas and even backtracked in some. Following the December 2016 elections, political uncertainty remains and the EU is urging prompt formation of a new government, a process currently blocked.

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

17-03-2017

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 been slow, rule of law weak, and corruption persistent. Many Western and local politicians are also concerned about the increasingly prominent role of external players ...

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 been slow, rule of law weak, and corruption persistent. Many Western and local politicians are also concerned about the increasingly prominent role of external players in the region, mainly Russia, but also China, Turkey and the Gulf states. From the Western Balkans, only Croatia has so far joined the EU, in 2013. Accession talks continue with Montenegro and Serbia. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania are official candidates, with Albania hoping to formally open negotiations soon. Bosnia and Herzegovina formally applied for EU membership in 2016, but along with Kosovo, it has a potential candidate status at present. This note offers links to a series of recent studies from major international think tanks and research institutes on problems faced by the Western Balkans.

2016 Enlargement package: Prospects for the Western Balkans

30-01-2017

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, the Commission has been applying a new reporting methodology aimed at enhanced transparency and comparability among the aspirant countries. In 2016, it shifted the ...

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, the Commission has been applying a new reporting methodology aimed at enhanced transparency and comparability among the aspirant countries. In 2016, it shifted the timeframe for publishing the next enlargement package from the autumn of 2017 to the spring of 2018, to better align it with the release of the economic reform programmes and the increased focus on economic governance. In 2016, the Commission continued prioritising complex and long-term reforms as part of its 'fundamentals first' approach. Its main message was that enlargement policy continued to deliver results and promote reforms, albeit slowly and unevenly. The EU's reconfirmed commitment to the Western Balkan countries' accession processes was duly reflected in the Slovak Presidency programme, which stressed the importance of enlargement policy for the EU's own political and economic stability. Amidst a host of increasing complexities and declining public support, concerns have been raised that enlargement policy might be side-lined. Thus, while the EU needs to keep up momentum, a significant part of the responsibility rests with the countries themselves. The region needs political will to keep reforms on the agenda and deliver results. In this context, regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations are once again brought to the fore as an indispensable means of re-energising common reform priorities and maximising the benefits for the region.

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 ...

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.'

FYR Macedonia: A 'conditional' recommendation

02-03-2016

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is facing its 'most severe political crisis since 2001' and is preparing for snap elections on 5 June 2016. The Commission made its seventh recommendation for the beginning of accession talks, 'conditional' on the implementation of a 2015 EU-brokered political agreement between the main parties, expected to ensure free and fair elections.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is facing its 'most severe political crisis since 2001' and is preparing for snap elections on 5 June 2016. The Commission made its seventh recommendation for the beginning of accession talks, 'conditional' on the implementation of a 2015 EU-brokered political agreement between the main parties, expected to ensure free and fair elections.

EU enlargement [What Think Tanks are thinking]

15-01-2016

The pace of the European Union's enlargement has slowed following its historic expansion in 2004-07 to take in 10 countries from Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Cyprus and Malta. From among EU hopefuls which have been given membership prospects - Turkey and Western Balkan countries - only Croatia joined the EU in 2013. Accession negotiations continue with Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. Iceland has dropped its membership bid. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said he does ...

The pace of the European Union's enlargement has slowed following its historic expansion in 2004-07 to take in 10 countries from Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Cyprus and Malta. From among EU hopefuls which have been given membership prospects - Turkey and Western Balkan countries - only Croatia joined the EU in 2013. Accession negotiations continue with Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. Iceland has dropped its membership bid. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said he does not expect any new country to join the EU during his term in office, which ends in 2019, a statement confirmed in the European Commission's most recent enlargement strategy. The EU hails enlargement as one of its most successful policies as it enforces reforms in candidate countries and expands the zone of democracy and stability in Europe. But many analysts and politicians say that before expanding further, the EU must overcome its numerous, internal problems as well as give time to potential entrants to prepare themselves for membership, notably in areas such as respect for fundamental rights and anti-corruption policies. This note offers links to a series of recent studies from major international think tanks and research institutes on the enlargement process and the challenges faced by countries aspiring to EU membership.

Futuros eventos

05-11-2019
The Art and Craft of Political Speech-writing: A conversation with Eric Schnure
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EPRS
06-11-2019
Where next for the global and European economies? The 2019 IMF Economic Outlook
Outro evento -
EPRS
06-11-2019
EPRS Annual Lecture: Clash of Cultures: Transnational governance in post-war Europe
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