Europe Day in Sarajevo

On Europe Day, the Bosnian capital celebrated the opening of its famous Vijećnica city hall and library, as the rebirth of a symbol of confluence between civilizations in the heart of the city. Two decades after the destruction of the Vijećnica, during the Siege of Sarajevo, the synthesis of Austrian and Moorish, nineteenth-century, architectural styles…

A new approach to economic governance and growth in the Western Balkans

In its Enlargement strategy 2013-2014, the European Commission emphasised the need to address fundamentals first. Particular importance has been given to taking a new approach to the economies of the enlargement countries. In light of the global economic crisis, and in particular public dissatisfaction with the general socio-economic situation, as so visibly demonstrated by the…

Reinventing Competitiveness

During the past few years, the European Commission initiated numerous programs with the goal of successfully reforming the legal and institutional framework related to competitiveness in the Western Balkan region. These changes have often been counter-effective in certain areas, which has been negative on the overall business environment, for instance unpredictability, legal uncertainty, increased regulatory…

Reconciliation and European Integration

Efforts to come to terms with the conflicts of the 1990s and achieve genuine reconciliation are progressing extremely slowly in the Western Balkans. Compared to other post-conflict situations – such as the post-WWII period – the record is, frankly, disappointing. At the same time, however, relations among the Western Balkan countries have become considerably more…

“Just Do It” … ?

When it comes to the western Balkans and European integration, certain metaphors come in and out fashion. It used to be said that Balkan countries were like cyclists; they had to keep moving forward, otherwise if they stopped, they would fall off. This went out of fashion when it was realised that actually, if a…