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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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On the Slow Track to Europe: Macedonia’s Record on Fighting Corruption and Regional Cooperation

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Abstract: This chapter is an empirical study of the Europeanization process in Macedonia. It looks into two policy areas – fight against corruption and regional cooperation – evaluating the progress achieved in EU-required reforms in these two areas. The aim of the chapter is to provide empirical evidence of the pace of Europeanization in Macedonia, in two particularly challenging policy areas, to contribute to the broader debate about Europeanization of the Western Balkans.

Introduction

Over the past almost three decades, since the fall of Communism across Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, the European Union (EU) has been one of the most actively engaged actors in the political transformation in former communist states. The EU supported and encouraged democratic reforms and strengthening of the rule of law in former communist states and along the way has offered various rewards for those who successfully completed reforms. From full membership to various forms of association and access to financial and technical aid, the EU has created a complex incentives structure to accelerate democratic and market reforms in its eastern neighborhood, as a result of which twelve former communist states have become EU members since 2004 and several more have candidacy status and are seeking to join the bloc in the near future.

As a result, Europeanization has become a key approach to understanding the changes that have taken place in former communist states in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans over the past 25...

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