The European Union (EU)’s conditionality for the aspiring members of the Western Balkans in the rule of law field has been constantly upgraded over the past years. Nevertheless, its impact remains rather limited. Instead of strengthening democratic reforms and institutions, democracy is retreating in the Western Balkans, the pace of transformation is slow, and a solid track record of results has yet to be established in all the Western Balkan countries. For some of the EU-hopefuls in the region, democratic backsliding has paradoxically started after the opening of accession negotiations with the EU. This policy study contains three sections that analyse the core problems of the EU’s current approach to the promotion of the rule of law in the Balkans. The sections offer complementary approaches to the rule of law issue and together amount to a fully-fledged strategy. The study follows in the footsteps of previous efforts of the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG) on the subject matter, offering fresh thinking on how to foster sustainable EU integration that is as effective as it is uncompromising, and that would benefit prospective and existing EU members alike.
Policy Study: Strengthening the Rule of Law in the Western Balkans: Call for a Revolution against Particularism
1 January, 2019