Commenting on the New Enlargement Methodology: Implications to the EU Integration process of the Wes
Western Balkans is a political term, introduced by the EU and EU-centric actors, referring to the countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Serbia and Albania. European Integration in the region plays a very important role in both domestic politics, and in foreign policy orientations. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain and the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the countries of the Western Balkans have been pursuing the EU Integration path. The Thessaloniki Summit in 2003 set the clear perspective and commitment of the EU towards enlargement in the region, for the first time.
However, ever since the process of enlargement itself started, it has been gradually altered due to both, EU-related internal issues (for instance, the economic crisis of 2008, Brexit, the 2015 refugee crisis and most definitely the current global COVID-19 pandemic) as well as Western Balkan Countries (WB6) fulfilment of requirements for accession as set forth in the Treaty of the European Union. During these 30 years of aspirations for European integration of the Western Balkans, the process itself has undergone some changes. Every past enlargement was accompanied by a self-learning process wherein the EU rethought and improved its approach. Their application is obser