On December 4, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS), in joint cooperation with the European Policy Centre (EPC), organized a Policy Dialogue on the topic: “EU Enlargement to the Balkans and Kosovo’s European Path Approaching a crossroads?”, held in Brussels.
In early 2018, the European Commission published its new strategy for the Western Balkans, heralding the beginning of a more consistent engagement with the region. Accordingly, the year has brought good news on many fronts for the region’s aspiring EU members, including a potential accession date for the front-runners and the possibility for Skopje and Tirana to open accession negotiations. But for Kosovo, the prospect of EU accession remains remote. Although it has ratified the border agreement with Montenegro and made progress towards visa liberalisation, internal challenges, the stalled dialogue with Serbia and continued non-recognition by five EU member states mean that it still lags behind its neighbours.
Meanwhile, the EU moves towards the May 2019 European elections and the end of its current mandate. As the EU goes through a period of internal changes, attention is likely to fade from the enlargement dossier. Given that Kosovo has long depended on the active input of international actors to overcome political impasses, this could have implications for its prospects to make further progress towards the EU. What can be done to keep the focus on Kosovo throughout this crucial period and make sure it finds its place on the agenda of the new leadership in Brussels? What can the EU do to help Kosovo advance in its reform efforts? What is the future of the dialogue with Serbia? All the abovementioned issues were addressed during this Policy Dialogue.
Ms. Angelina Eichhorst – Director for Western Europe, Western Balkans and Turkey at the European External Action Service (EEAS);
Mr. Igor Soltes – Member of the European Parliament and Rapporteur for Kosovo;
Mr. Fisnik Korenica – Senior Research Fellow, Group for Legal and Political Studies;
Mr. Augustin Palokaj – Koha Ditore and Jutarnji List Correspondent;
Ms. Corina Stratulat – Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre (EPC).
Venue: EPC Auditorium (3rd floor), Rue du Trône 14-16, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.
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