Darko Soldat

Darko Soldat, MA

University of Sarajevo/University of Belgrade

darko.soldat@live.com

Irma Zulić, BA

University of Sarajevo/University of Basel

irma-zulic@hotmail.com

Europeanization of the Balkans: a legal perspective on the future of EU enlargement

 

 

Abstract

In the era of a comprehensive examination of everything that has the “European” prefix or suffix, the current position of the Western Balkan countries requires a policy analysis of EU enlargement from a legal point of view. This is so mainly due to the fact that the current political and economic crisis in EU Member States will largely determine the interpretation of Copenhagen and Madrid criteria for the countries which are still in the “waiting room” when it comes to EU enlargement. Certainly, after the accession of Croatia into the EU, future enlargement process will be more strictly and detail-oriented than ever. The paper has two objectives: first, to prove stricter approach to understanding of political criteria (stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities), economic criteria (a functioning market economy and the capacity to cope with competition and market forces) and administrative and institutional capacity to effectively implement the EU acquis as well as the ability to take on the obligations of membership and, second, to point to the “Achilles heel” of the Western Balkan countries in its lengthy Euro-integration process.