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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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From a Good Pupil to a Bad Student of the EU integration Process: Europeanization of Montenegro

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Abstract: This chapter examines Europeanization of Montenegro through EU impact on domestic governmental changes by focusing on two political membership conditions: fight against corruption and strengthening regional cooperation and development of good neighborly relations. The study is based on the argument of the EU transformative power having produced negatively reinforcing effects in key accession criteria in the respective candidate country.

Introduction

Like all Western Balkans (WB) countries, Montenegro has defined integration into the European Union (EU) as its main strategic and foreign policy priority.1 Shortly after declaring independence from Serbia in 2006 and up to current times, Montenegro has made an evident progress in addressing the Copenhagen criteria and complying with the acquis communautaire (acquis). As result, Montenegro has positioned itself as the regional frontrunner among the WB states in the EU accession process. As of 25 December 2017, 31 negotiating Chapters, including the rule of law Chapters, 23 – Judiciary and fundamental rights and 24 – Justice, freedom and security, have been opened, out which three Chapters (25 – Science and research, 26 – Education and culture, 30 – External relations) have been provisionally closed.2

Montenegro has made a quick progress in the European integration process as a result of two lucky factors: status of the country, which is not contested either externally or internally, and unanimous consensus of all political parties on the EU membership issue.3 Still, Montenegrin advance in the accession process ←151 | 152→does not seem to depend on the capacity of domestic...

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