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Balkanizing Europeanization: Fight against Corruption and Regional Relations in the Western Balkans

Edited By Vladimir Vučković and Vladimir Đorđević

The main theme of this book revolves around the idea of Europeanization of the Western Balkans. In that respect, the volume discusses the fight against corruption and regional relations in former Yugoslav states, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. The objective of the book is to detect the level of effectiveness of the EU impact on domestic structural changes in the Western Balkans regarding aforementioned research issues. The contributors argue that the EU impact in the Western Balkans has so far been limited and point to limitations in this regard.

«The book Balkanizing Europeanisation offers timely, detailed, critical and excellently researched insight into the complicated mutual relations of the EU and the countries of the Balkan Peninsula. Based on excellent scholarship, meticulous original research and first-hand experience with the Balkan area, the authors provide a reader with rich and profound analysis of successes and failures of Europeanisation of the Balkan countries. The volume shall become an obligatory reading for many categories of scholars, experts, and people practicing diplomacy with and in the region.»

Vít Hloušek, Professor of European Politics, Masaryk University

«The limits to and problems connected with processes of Europeanization in the Western Balkans remain an important topic both for policy-makers and for scholarly inquiry. Vučković and Đorđević are to be congratulated for having assembled a first-rate teach of scholars to examine the most vital issues at hand.»

Sabrina P. Ramet, Professor of Political Science, The Norwegian University of Science & Technology

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The Stabilization and Association Process as a Strategic Framework for the Europeanization of the Western Balkans

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Abstract: This chapter discusses the Stabilization and Association Process in detail, introduces a comparative perspective in this regard, and additionally argues on the SAP importance as being the basic EU accession framework vis-s-vis the Western Balkans.

Introduction

In the early 1990s, the European community failed in its ambitions to prevent and stop the war in Yugoslavia. For the following decade, the region was then physically, socioeconomically and politically devastated by the series of ethnic conflicts through which the multi-ethnic federation broke up into single nation states. While the European Union (EU) temporarily pulled back from the region, the bloody wars in Croatia and Bosnia were only halted by ad hoc international firefighting policies. In a direct response to another war in Kosovo in the late 1990s, the EU took its second chance, yet this time with much more ambitions, assets and expectations.1 With an aim to ultimately stabilize the volatile region, the EU has offered the Western Balkans (WB)2 an integration perspective based on an approach combining externally driven state-building and integration into European political and economic structures.3 This unprecedented geopolitical strategy of stabilizing its own neighborhood through integration created great expectations not only within the region, but also in the EU itself and in the international community in general. As Belloni argued, a near-consensus has been ←41 | 42→reached that the “Western Balkans’ greater involvement in European institutions is the necessary condition for stabilization.”4

The new European approach has...

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