Balkan and Eastern European Comparisons

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Publication Date March 2021
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There is both political and academic interest in comparing the development of the six states of the Western Balkans (the ‘Balkan states’ of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia) with the three Eastern European states (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) that have Association Agreements (AAs) and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs) with the EU.

  • All have made `European choices’ strategically, even if the EU reciprocates with formal recognition of ‘membership perspectives’ only for the Balkans.
  • There are important similarities in structure and content between on the one hand the Stabilisation and Association Agreements (SAAs) of the Balkan states when coupled with the ‘chapters’ of the pre-accession process, and on the other hand the AAs and DCFTAs with the three Eastern European states.
  • There is further interest in bringing into the comparison the three newest EU member states of south-eastern Europe (Bulgaria Croatia, Romania), and as far as possible the three other states of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus).
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