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AFTER ’BREXIT:’ THE WESTERN BALKANS IN THE EUROPEAN WAITING ROOM

Roberto Belloni, Marco Brunazzo

Abstract


Extract

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Abstract

The European enlargement process in the western Balkans is in trouble. This paper starts by briefly reviewing the much debated, and quite well known, ‘enlargement fatigue’ the European Union (EU) has been experiencing largely, but not exclusively, as a result of the post-2008 economic, financial and political crisis in Europe. While this crisis has slowed considerably the EU enlargement process, the post-2016 ‘Brexit’ risks postponing it indefinitely. Second, it notes how a less known, but equally important, version of the enlargement fatigue is found in western Balkan states where various levels of Euroscepticism, or Euro-fatigue, have been developing. Third, and finally, the paper discusses some alternatives to the western Balkans’ integration into the EU, including the development of a ‘privileged partnership,’ various forms of ‘differentiated integration,’ and the construction of a ’macro-region.’ Overall, we argue that the EU’s approach to the region ultimately depends on its own institutional development.

Keywords: European integration, western Balkans, enlargement fatigue, euroscepticism, differentiated integration.

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Bibliography: Belloni, Roberto/Brunazzo, Marco: After ‘Brexit:’ The Western Balkans in the European Waiting Room, ERIS, 1-2017, pp. 21-38. https://doi.org/10.3224/eris.v4i1.02


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