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The functioning of democratic institutions represents one of the key prerequisites for a country to join the EU. This is emphasised by the fact that this area has been included in the fundamentals chapter in the revised enlargement methodology of the EU, alongside the most important chapters in negotiations such as rule of law, freedom of media, fight against corruption and organised crime, public procurement, economic criteria and public administration reform.
As the Western Balkans continue to grapple with the “elements of state capture”, the Commission’s role in guiding these countries to overcome their endemic issues becomes of paramount importance. It is imperative for the Commission to elevate its efforts and embrace the role of mentorship, becoming the true driving force behind the enlargement process. This need is exacerbated by the shifting geopolitical dynamics that demand a proactive stance. Maintaining the ‘old school’ approach to country reports, which implies the same scope and depth of analysis regardless of the prioritisation of the Fundamentals in the 2020 Revised Enlargement Methodology, is bound to fail in producing the desired results. It is, therefore, high time that the Commission reconsiders its approach to its country reports, particularly in the FoDI subarea.
This infographic serves as a visual roadmap for enhancing the assessment of democratic institutions in the WB6 region. It outlines key areas where improvements can be made to provide a more comprehensive and accurate evaluation of democracy in these countries.
For a more detailed analysis, please refer to the following publication.