• EU Conditionality towards Western Balkans

    Supporting Democracy and Rule of Law (?)

    EU conditionality policy towards the candidate countries has usually been identified as successful, given its demonstrated power to induce positive and transformative effects on EU’s aspirants. However, despite its proven track record during the previous enlargement rounds, this mechanism seems inadequate for the Western Balkans region. The region’s progress towards the EU membership remains limited, and while the countries are gradually increasing formal compliance with the EU’s acquis, their overall democratic performance, contrary to the logic of EU accession process, is either stagnating or backsliding. Has the EU’s conditionality policy unintentionally contributed to such a paradoxical state of affairs?

    This panel discussion will address the side effects of EU conditionality policy towards the Western Balkans by providing evidence on how it unintentionally contributed to the consolidation of state capture phenomenon in the Western Balkans. Dr Natasha Wunsch, post-doctoral researcher at ETH Zurich who has conducted this research, will present the findings of her study. Together with the Serbian expert community, the panel will also discuss how to address the noticed flaws and make EU conditionality policy more effective in the future years.

    The study is available here, and the short version (blog post) is available here.

    o Natasha Wunsch, Postdoctoral Researcher, European Politics Group at ETH Zurich, Switzerland
    o Milan Antonijević, Executive Director, Open Society Foundations Serbia
    o Nataša Dragojlović, Coordinator, National Convention of European Union – NCEU
    o Srđan Majstorović, Chairman of Governing Board, European Policy Centre – CEP Belgrade

    Moderator: Sena Marić, Programme Manager and Senior Researcher, European Policy Centre – CEP Belgrade

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