|Fulltext: english, pdf (298 KB)||pages 185-204||cite|
The article discusses main differences in the EU enlargement strategy/process between the one applied for the big-bang Eastern enlargement in 2004/2007 and the one being used for the EU accession of the Western Balkan countries. Within this framework, the article focuses on the key drivers that have contributed to the slowing down of the EU accession process for these countries over the last decade. Among others, these drivers include some traditional ones, such as lessons from the EU-10 enlargement and general “enlargement fatigue” in quite a number of EU member states, as well as a number of more recent ones, such as the consequences of the economic crisis, the migrant/refugee crisis and the Brexit. The reduced appetite of the EU member states for Western Balkan enlargement has been reflected in the reshaped EU enlargement strategy that is now based on the so-called “fundamentals first” approach with the rule of law, early resolution of bilateral issues and strengthened economic governance as its key pillars. Besides, the enlargement process is run today much more on the intergovernmental basis than this was the case during the large Eastern enlargement.
Hrčak ID: 190343