Skip Navigation LinksCSL home > Library > Document



Integrating the Western Balkans into NATO and the EU: Challenges, Expectations and Needs

8 pages, pdf
 Download Back


Integrating the Western Balkans into NATO and the EU: Challenges, Expectations and Needs

Publisher: Karin Grimm

Volume: 8 pages, pdf


The enlargement of the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are seen as beneficial both by bringing stability and security and introducing democratic and economic reforms. Both organisations have supported the Western Balkan3 countries in their respective processes of post-authoritarian democratisation, transition to market economies, and of post-conflict reconstruction. The enlargement perspective has played and continues to play a crucial role in the regional stabilisation and pacification processes. Progress achieved by aspirant countries from South East Europe since the end of the violent conflicts is generally seen as considerable. However, the recently published EU Commission Progress Reports 2007 give an ambiguous picture: the reform processes are steady but uneven and in many areas the progress made is judged not satisfactory. In general, problems of ethnic intolerance, organised crime and widespread corruption, coupled with general underdevelopment and limited capacity, continue to hamper the reform processes in the Western Balkans. It is therefore a timely moment to look at the integration processes and challenges, expectations and needs involved. This paper offers a tour d’horizon of political, social, economic and military/security aspects of the Western Balkan countries’ integration into NATO and the EU. Although this paper looks at integration of the aspirant countries en bloc – the Western Balkan countries - the generalisation is limited as the transition and reform processes in each country follow their own paths at their own pace.