Risks and Vulnerabilities in the Western Balkans

The six countries in the Western Balkans region – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia vary to a degree in their Euro-Atlantic affiliations. Functional and structural weaknesses within these countries open doors for foreign hostile actors to project their influence on the WB public.

Eastern Focus Call For Contributions: The World After Tomorrow

Eastern Focus digital quarterly is launching a call for contributions to its fourth issue, dedicated to exploring The World After Tomorrow (i.e. how will the world change after COVID-19?) from a regional perspective. The whole issue will be framed around disruption/disruptive glocal trends (political, economical, geopolitical) and aims to anticipate the parameters of the post-pandemic new normal and their impact on the broader region. Articles that are focused on the structural trends with a long-term impact are prioritised.

The nationalisation of EU enlargement. North Macedonia after yet another ‘no!’

By Zoran Nechev and Ivan Nikolovski | Skopje

In February 2018, the European Commission published its communiqué ‘A Credible Enlargement Perspective for and Enhanced EU Engagement with the Western Balkans’. The document offered an incentive to the countries of the region, especially to those that are already in the negotiation process such as Montenegro and Serbia.

To be or not to be – the case for Serbia’s European integration

By Srdjan Majstorović | Belgrade

The European Commission published its Country Report for Serbia in May 2019 assessing the country’s progress in the past year: it portrays a confusing picture of a country that is perceived as a frontrunner in the EU accession process, has been involved in accession negotiations since 2014, and which yet obviously lacks any drive to reform, ambition, capacities, and most importantly the results that could prove its advanced status.


Democracy without institutions

By Dragan Koprivica | Podgorica

What are the accomplishments of the European integration process in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia? Despite being at different stages, the process has still not been able to sufficiently affirm the constitutional commitment of the tripartite division of powers in these states and bring about an equal balance between them. Respect for this commitment is of fundamental importance for the operation of both the political and the overall social system.

Time to learn from what has worked

By Kristof Bender | Vienna

The EU accession process can inspire reforms, increase prosperity, strengthen democracy and help transform the politics of the Western Balkans. In order to achieve this, it needs to be credible and fair. It needs to provide clear guidance to politicians, inspire civil servants and help them to focus, and signal to civil society where a country stands in any given area of reform. Currently the EU accession process does not achieve this.