Reviving European Policy Towards the Western Balkans

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Publication Date December 2021
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The EU has sought to stabilise and integrate the Western Balkans countries through enlargement, but this process has now stalled. Montenegro’s and Serbia’s accession negotiations have made little progress since they started in 2012 and 2014 respectively. The EU has not started talks with Albania and North Macedonia, as it had promised to. Meanwhile, Kosovo remains far from starting talks and Bosnia-Herzegovina risks breaking up. The EU is preoccupied with internal matters and there is little momentum behind enlargement. Many EU states are worried about the risk of the Western Balkan countries disrupting the EU’s functioning if they become members. At the same time, reforms in the Western Balkans have faltered, in part because EU membership seems increasingly remote.

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Cardiff EDC: 06/10/2021: EU-Western Balkans summit, 6 October 2021
Council of the EU: General Secretariat: 8536/21: Application of the revised enlargement methodology to the accession negotiations with Montenegro and Serbia

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