Rethinking EU Enlargement in the Western Balkans Conference
The Western Balkans have been on the EU path for more than twenty years now, without really getting closer to EU accession. Their European perspectives took a new turn with Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
The new geopolitical context makes their accession an incontrovertible goal. Yet, much remains to be done to make it a reality. Disrupted by bilateral disputes and contested sovereignty issues, the EU’s accession policy has lost much of its clout, and it is ill-equipped, in its present form, to tackle serious challenges in the East, let alone complex security-related issues. Also, its revamp, whilst necessary, hinges on sensitive internal reforms in the EU and on Member States’ competing visions of the future of Europe. What course should the EU set for a more strategic accession policy in the new geopolitical context? What reforms would the EU need to undergo to ensure the proper and timely completion of the process? How can the EU counter the disrupting power of open bilateral disputes and contested sovereignty issues and effectively promote good neighbourliness? In a word, what should a new agenda for the EU in the Western Balkans look like?
Dominique David, President of the Austro-French Centre for Rapprochement in Europe; Advisor to the Executive Chairman of the French Institute of International Relations (Ifri)
Donika Emini, Member of the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG), Researcher at the University of Westminster and Executive Director of CIVIKOS
Alexandre Adam, Former Europe advisor to French President Emmanuel Macron, Member of the Council of State of the French Republic and Member of the Council of the European Council on Foreign Relations
Florent Marciacq, Deputy Secretary General of the Austro-French Centre for Rapprochement in Europe and Associate Researcher at the French Institute of International Relations (Ifri
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