Skip Navigation LinksCSL home > Library > Document



Fundamentals and the regional cooperation in the Western Balkans

19 pages, pdf
 Download Back


Strengthening regional stability through human security

Publisher: Institute for Democracy “Societas Civilis” – Skopje

Volume: 19 pages, pdf


With the term ‘enlargement fatigue’ being easily thrown around following the accession of Croatia in July 2013, the integration of the Western Balkan region has been beset by challenges, with the migration crisis, the economic crisis and now the COVID-19 pandemic slowing the process, with the progress of reforms remaining gradual and uneven, often experiencing reversals. Various reports dealing with the state of democracy in the Western Balkans, from year to year, record setbacks in key parameters that affect the rule of law, from the state of the judiciary and the independence of institutions in general to media freedom.1 The reasons for this are various but can be largely reduced to the insufficient commitment of the Western Balkans political elites in power to implement key reforms and tackle pervasive corruption, and the EU,especially the Council where the strength rests, to reward this efforts. Thus, the is no longer such an incentive to accelerate and nurture structural, and politically difficult, reforms. And while there is not much reason for optimism when it comes to these factors, what is encouraging on the path to democratic consolidation and strengthening the rule of law in this part of Europe is, after the change of government in some countries, the growing awareness of citizens that they can influence change despite uneven playing field and unfair political competition. This may then encourage collective action as well.2 However, the removal of regimes with authoritarian tendencies is only the initial step in eliminating undemocratic practices and does not mean much if it is not accompanied by a strong push in the implementation of reforms.