The Western Balkans Summit in Trieste – Are the Balkans stuck in the EU’s waiting room post-Brexit?

by Hatidza Jahic and Miruna Troncota

hatidza-jahic miruna-troncota

It’s been almost 15 years since the 2003 Thessaloniki promise of EU membership for the Western Balkans, and the countries in the region are still in the EU’s ‘waiting room’. The European Commission’s ‘White Paper on the Future of Europe’, published on 1 March 2017 does not mention EU enlargement at all. In the context of the 2017 Western Balkans Summit in Trieste, the first one to be organised after the Brexit vote, Miruna Troncotă (Ro) and Hatidza Jahic (BiH) ask: Are the Balkans forever stuck in the EU's waiting room?

The fog that never fades – welcoming the EU friend who never came

Posted on 20. March 2017 by Adnan Rahimić

1-adnan-rahimicIt was a sunny and beautiful day in Sarajevo on 2 March 2017.  The city was full of blue and yellow flags, signs of celebration from the day before – Independence Day. Flags were left hanging from buildings a day longer, probably on purpose – to gently sway and greet very important guest our country was about to receive: Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission. Her visit to Sarajevo was part of her Western Balkan's tour of countries that are EU member state candidates/candidates-to-be. The plan was to meet with the members of the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), to talk about the country’s current issues and problematic path toward EU candidacy and also, to give a lecture on the same subject to the academic community of the University of Sarajevo.

Bosnia Herzegovina – Between its ‘historical’ application for EU membership and its ‘traditional’ corruption scandals

hatidza-jahicmiruna-troncotaIt seems that 2016 will be another year to remember in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) recent history. On 15 February 2016, the Country’s Presidency officially submitted its EU membership application. However, another event threatens to overshadow this news and dominate the media in the upcoming weeks. MP Fahrudin Radoncic, leader of the centre-right party Union for a Better Future of BiH (SBB), former Minister of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina and owner of the biggest media company in the country has been arrested on 25 January. This could not only be the beginning a new internal political crisis that could destabilise the whole country, but it could also undermine the momentum for EU integration and the reform process.

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Recent EU-Turkey agenda on Turkey-related political issues

Posted on 17. November 2015 by Sadik Tabar Within the last month, Turkey has been going through a quite arduous and lopsided political period: first German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Istanbul, then snap parliamentary elections, the delayed European Commission Annual Progress Report on Turkey and finally Turkey’s upcoming G-20 presidency. There are two key issues … Continue reading Recent EU-Turkey agenda on Turkey-related political issues

General Elections in Turkey: Where is the EU?

Posted on 29. May 2015 by Efehan Danisman On 7 June 2015 Turkey will hold its 2015 general election to elect the 550 members of the Grand National Assembly. The results will inevitably have an impact on Turkey-EU relations. There are a number of formidable issues standing in the way of Turkey and the EU making … Continue reading General Elections in Turkey: Where is the EU?