Macedonia’s EU accession: what would a restart entail?

Dr. Simonida Kačarska, Director of the European Policy Institute in Skopje, Macedonia   In his last State of the Union address, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker reminded us of the obvious: that there would be no enlargement during the mandate of this Commission. He also underlined that the credible enlargement perspective for the Western Balkans…

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Call for Applications: BiEPAG Fellowship 2017-18

The present call for applicants seeks two research fellows to conduct a three months research stay at the University of Graz, Austria, between 1 December 2017 and 28 February 2018, assisting the research efforts of the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG), commissioned by the European Fund for the Balkans (EFB). As required in…

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What’s another year? The European Union and the Western Balkans 2017

Photo: © European Union, 2017/ Jure Makovec   Johnny Logan from Ireland won the Eurovision Song Contest 1980 with the song “What`s another year?”. Also in April 1980, the European Community and Yugoslavia signed their first comprehensive Cooperation Agreement. The Commission news release noted that “the primary objective of the Agreement is to improve the…

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The Western Balkans – A Role for Industrial Policy

Some scholars underline the need to foster industrial development in the Western Balkans. They also highlight the difficulties of such a strategy because of the lack of protectionism – which leads to a rather pessimistic assessment of economic prospects in the region. In this short note, I recall the importance of manufacturing industries for growth…

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The Western Balkans Summit in Trieste and Bilateral Disputes

This year’s Western Balkans Summit in Trieste will be the fourth consecutive meeting of the heads of governments and Foreign Ministers of the six countries, aiming to build on the achievements of the previous meetings and take their commitments a step further. The Summits are organised under the framework of the ‘Berlin Process’, a five-year…

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The future of the Berlin Process

The Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG) drafted a discussion paper The Future of the Berlin Process. The goal of this policy brief is to outline the most tangible outputs of the previous Western Balkan Summits, and to propose several structural changes that need to be introduced after the 2018 London Summit in order…

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End Roaming Charges in EU Candidate Countries: Bring People Closer

As of yesterday, 15 June 2017, roaming charges in the European Union no longer apply. The President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani, the Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat (on behalf of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union), and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker issued a triumphant…

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Lunch discussion on BiEPAG’s report “The Crisis of Democracy in the Western Balkans. An Anatomy of Stabilitocracy and the Limits of EU Democracy Promotion”

Main sources of current instability in the region and ways to mitigate them were elaborated during a lunch discussion, held in Brussels today, on the topic of BiEPAG’s recent report “The Crisis of Democracy in the Western Balkans. An Anatomy of Stabilitocracy and the Limits of EU Democracy Promotion”. The gathering was organised by Open…

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‘Berlin Plus’ will not change the game

On 31 May 2017 the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel, announced a “Berlin plus” agenda at a conference of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Western Balkans organised by the Aspen Institute in Berlin. The conference took place against the background of a number of political developments in the Western Balkan countries…

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