EU Enlargement Strategy for enhanced Engagement with the Western Balkans & Feedback from Think-Tanks

In February 2018, the European Commission released its new enlargement strategy, giving an accession perspective to the Western Balkans region. The latest impetus came last month, when the Commission proposed opening entry talks with Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

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 FYROM are official membership candidates, while Bosnia and Herzegovina remains a potential candidate country, along with Kosovo.

A recently published note, available here, offers a list of reports and commentaries from some major international think-tanks and research institutes on EU enlargement and Western Balkans.