The European integration of the Western Balkans countries has stalled because of the unwillingness of EU countries to pursue further expansion, and the unwillingness of most WB leaders to undertake the significant and necessary reforms which are prerequisites for Accession.
These delays have eroded the EU’s credibility as a transformative power in the Western Balkans to a significant extent, and have allowed reactionary right-wing forces to thrive in the political landscapes of WB countries. If the EU is to regain its status as the undisputed role model for the political and economic development of the WB countries, it must change and adapt its policies toward them.
To that end, the HBS Offices in Belgrade, Sarajevo and Berlin have estalished a Strategy Group tasked with conceptualizing and presenting to EU decision-makers policy proposals aimed at revitalizing the EU Accession process of the WB countries in line with progressive, green, and gender-sensitive values. The Group consists of prominent Civil Society representatives from each of the WB countries, and is subdivided into working groups.
Thus far, BiH political leaders have not demonstrated substantial progress in fulfilling the integration’s requirements, nor in joint efforts of prioritizing EU integration and putting it before particular ethnic interests. In case of Mr. Čović and the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ BiH), it is necessary to keep in mind the type of EU-BiH perspective they advocate for, as well what their policies imply for BiH.
The “Strategy Group for a political, societal and economic European integration of the
Western Balkans Six” is a group of legal, historical and political researches from all WB6
countries organized by Heinrich Böll Stiftung’s Belgrade, Sarajevo and Berlin offices.
Its aim is to credibly advocate for a more effective European integration of the Balkans
in European as well as Balkan capitals.