Current Challenges to EU Accession of the Western Balkan Countries
Talk by Marina Vulović (SWP Berlin) as part of the SNAKLAB series, organized by the seeFField in cooperation with IOS Regensburg.
Since 2022, the EU has revived its enlargement policy in the Western Balkans as a response to changed geopolitical circumstances following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This is evident in its re-engagement in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, granting candidate status to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and welcoming Kosovo’s EU membership application. However, the reform process in the Western Balkans has stagnated for years and critical voices take issue with the EU’s capacity to keep these countries on a European path given the rise of Euroscepticism, lack of EU credibility in the enlargement process, and the increased engagement of non-EU actors such as China with the region in the last few years. The lecture thus focuses on current challenges to EU accession of the Western Balkan countries and problematizes whether and how the EU can respond to them. What can be expected for the future of the EU enlargement process in the region?
Moderation: Cindy Wittke (IOS)